Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Sociology & Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Nita L. Bryant


Over the decades of the last century, home ownership in the U.S. has become a major institution and part of the American dream. Many arguments have developed that tout the benefits of homeownership: benefits both for the individual, and for the larger society. This study examines one such argument, considering the effects for Latino immigrants of homeownership on community participation. As this is the first study to consider this model for an immigrant population, it is also the first to introduce to this model the concepts of acculturation and assimilation. Studying Latinos in Richmond, Virginia is particularly interesting as Latinos are new ethnic community members to a city that has historically been defined by differences in race (black and white), additionally, unlike most studies done on Latinos in their traditional places of settlement, ethnic enclaves in Richmond have yet to develop. As a result the types of community participation considered here are ones that involve social interaction with non-Latinos. This study has found neither theoretical nor empirical support for the model; other causal variables for community participation are suggested. It adds to the body of theoretical work by suggesting that Weber's concept of status groups be used to describe homeowners as a distinct status group in U.S. society.; additional suggestions for future research are included. Data for the thesis was drawn from the Latinos in Richmond Project.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008