International Migration, Multicultural Reforms, and Ethnic Identity Shift in Guatemala and Nicaragua

Hirotoshi Yoshioka, University of Texas at Austin

For the past few decades, the volume of international migrants and their impact on sending societies has increased considerably in Guatemala and Nicaragua. One significant impact brought by international migration in these countries is ethnic identity shift. A surprisingly similar feature between multicultural reforms and international migration is that while both offer unprecedented opportunities to indigenous people, they also threaten indigenous groups. I propose a mathematical model that describes the difference in rates of ethnic identity shift in communities in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Agent-based computational simulation suggests that when the definition of being indigenous is broad and less clear, indigenous people are more likely to change their ethnic identity,. sSince international migration tends to broaden the meaning of being indigenous. Therefore, we should be concerned that the combination of multicultural reforms and international migration may reinforce more indigenous people to abandon their ethnic identity and obscures various ethnicity-related social problems

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Presented in Session 68: Mathematical and Computational Approaches to Demography