Who joins the military? A look at race, class, and immigration status

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article discusses the history of participation of the three largest racialethnic groups in the military: whites, blacks, and Latinos. It empirically examines the likelihood of ever having served in the military across a variety of criteria including race-ethnicity, immigrant generation, and socioeconomic status, concluding that significant disparities exist only by socioeconomic status. Finally, the article offers an in-depth look at Latinos in the military, a group whose levels of participation in the armed services have not been thoroughly investigated heretofore. The findings reveal that, among Latinos, those who identify as "Other Hispanic" are more likely to have served in the military than Mexicans, while Puerto Ricans are not significantly different from Mexicans in their service. An important finding of this study is that a large percentage of Latinos who have served in the armed forces are children of immigrants. Thus, even among Latinos, immigrants are not significantly less likely to have served in the military than those with two U.S.-born parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-188
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Political and Military Sociology
Volume36
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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