This article examines the political attitudes and participation of Mexican-Americans in the context of Milton Gordon's assimilation theory and William Julius Wilson's analyses of bifurcated economic structures resulting in middle-class and lower- or underclass populations. For Gordon, civic assimilation was a step toward complete assimilation. After demonstrating that the Mexican-American population has not achieved parity with the Anglo population even when controlling for generational differences over five decades, the author specifically examines the political attitudes and practices of lower-class (high school dropouts) and middle-class (high school graduates) third-generation Mexican-Americans. The two class groups have similar attitudes about bilingual education and discrimination. The major differences lie in the rates of registration and voting. The similarity in attitudes held by Mexican-Americans is thought to reflect the fact that a large proportion of this population still faces structured disadvantages that are at odds with any notion of assimilation.



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