DOI: 10.12924/si2013.01020113 |Publication Date: 21 November 2013

Familism and Social Inclusion: Hispanics in New London, Connecticut

Maria Amparo Cruz-Saco 1, 2, * and Mónika López-Anuarbe 1
1 Economics Department, Connecticut College, USA
2 Research Center (CIUP), Universidad del Pacífico, Peru
* Corresponding author
Abstract: This paper analyzes the financial support and inclusiveness within Hispanic families in New London, Connecticut, and the causes of their social exclusion in the larger society. We designed and administered a survey of 114 items that was answered by 148 participants rep­resenting 1.3% of the non-Puerto Rican Hispanic population. Using factor analysis, we reduced a large number of items in two familism scores to four latent factors: "Financial Support for Family", "Obligation to Family", "Plan to Return", and "Filial Responsibility". We found that fin­ancial support for family and obligation to family are strongly endorsed by participants. Approx­imately one-half would return back to their home countries where they believe to be happier. One-fifth rejects this option. Three-quarters of participants remit money to family, parents in particular, who reside in countries of origin. In contrast to other studies, remitting money is not affected by any given personal characteristic such as gender, income or level of education. Sim­ilarly, participants remit irrespective of their degree of self-reported familism measured by scores on the latent factors. A large incidence of poverty among this population, lack of English proficiency, low skills, immigration status, and a lack of voice and political representation inhibit their social inclusion.

Keywords: familism; hispanics; migration; remittances; social inclusion

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