My research in Mestizo in America uses national data from the Current Population Survey and 50 face-to-face interviews I conducted in Arizona and California. In it, I test the basic assertions of social integration theories on third-plus generation Mexican Americans.  I find that the process of integration for third-plus generation Mexican Americans shares many features with that of European-origin Americans, such as loss of immigrant language, increases in educational attainment and intermarriage.  However, regional factors related to ethnic concentration and social inequality, as well as symbolic factors connected to identity politics and ethnic consumer markets have combined to create a distinctive social context within which ethnicity is more fixed across generations than it has been for other American ethnic groups. 


Consistent with my sociological interest in consumer behavior, I began work in fall 2007 as a co-PI on a four-year interdisciplinary research project funded by the federal Department of Transportation and administered at UVM by the Transportation Research Center.  My specific contribution to this research concerns the social context of informed decision-making regarding transportation.