Dr. Marta Tienda, head of the office of population research at Princeton University and a member of the Adrenalina Human Sciences Institute, stopped by last week and was greeted by Adrenalina’s creative team and CEO/founder Manuel Wernicky.

Dr. Tienda and the team engaged in conversations ranging from the sternness of Mexican-American mothers to the state of Hispanics in American culture. One of topics that garnered intrigue was the differences and attitudes surrounding the Hispanic/Latino nomenclature.

Whether Hispanics self-identify with one classification or the other is important to consider with the 2010 census quickly approaching. Demographers like Dr. Tienda are looking for ways to accurately count the Hispanic population and the debate surrounding this issue is paramount.

Dr. Tienda was able to provide some insight, not from the perspective of a academician, but a Hispanic:

“It doesn’t matter what you call or label me, as long as I don’t lose my culture.” – Dr. Tienda

But we’re curious to hear what you think. Is there a difference and if so, what is it?

  1. Joe says:

    Interchangeable. Hispanic is mainstream, middle aged and older. Latino is younger, más savvy. About 12 or 15 years ago I think it was more East Coast (Hispanic)/West Coast (Latino). However, I still like to toss in my personality and say Mexican/American or Chicano. The word Chicano, interestingly enough makes people a little uneasy. Why, I’m not sure. Mexican/American obviously is very specific. However in Mexico I’ve heard “Gente Hispana” and I’ve also “Latino America”.

    I say we define ourselves but start with awareness.

    • Hi Joe,

      Thank you so much for your comment. We used in interchangeably as well and even among close friends there is always much debate about whether we should consider ourselves Latino or Hispanic.

      Obviously some people are more passionate about their reasons.

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