Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 online resource (ix, 225 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Angie Y Chung

Committee Members

Richard Alba, Nancy Denton, Jose Cruz


Immigrant Politics, Political Habitus, Salvadorans, Transnationalism, Salvadoran Americans

Subject Categories



This dissertation research examines the ways in which Salvadorans in the metro D.C. area construct their political habitus. Political habitus is a conceptual tool that is defined as the disposition, thoughts, and actions that inhabit peoples' worldview, and in turn, influences the political choices they make. The notion of political habitus illuminates the political experiences of Salvadorans because it understands the processes that lead to how Salvadorans become political actors and builds on social and structural forces to explain its development. Based on a qualitative methodology, this project argues that historical, organizational, and social structural contexts matter in determining the political paths that Salvadoran actors take. Ideal types of Salvadoran actors are created to provide a multi-faceted coverage of their diverse political trajectories, particularly as they relate to how the Salvadoran civil war affected their organizational development and consciousness. Within these experiences, Salvadorans' organizing practices are analyzed to suggest that these spaces challenge the building of political habitus. Finally, a dialectical relationship between transnationalism and state-based power creates structural barriers that reconfigure Salvadorans' political habitus. It is within these structural constraints that Salvadorans (re)build their political habitus to mediate between their individual agency and the challenges they encounter in the process.

Included in

Sociology Commons