Taking a Closer Look at Group Identity: The Link between Theory and Measurement of Group Consciousness and Linked Fate

Gabriel R. Sanchez, Edward Vargas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Scholarship in the area of group identity has expanded our understanding of how group consciousness and linked fate operate among racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States. What is yet to be tested is whether the measures employed adequately capture the multidimensional theoretical constructs associated with group consciousness across racial and ethnic populations. To address this question, we make use of the 2004 National Political Study (N = 3,339) and apply principal components analysis and exploratory factor analysis to assess whether measures used for both group consciousness and linked fate are interchangeable, as well as whether these measures are directly comparable across racial and ethnic populations. We find that the multidimensional approach to measuring group consciousness is a sound strategy when applied to African Americans, as the dimensions fit the African American experience more powerfully than is the case for non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, and Asian populations. Our analysis suggests that scholars interested in exploring group identity among the African American population have fewer analytical concerns in this regard than those working with other populations where the underlying components associated with group consciousness appear to be operating differently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-174
Number of pages15
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • ethnicity
  • group consciousness
  • group identity
  • linked fate
  • politics
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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