The research examines the dynamics surrounding the integration of newly arrived Latino residents to a historically white, rural community in Northeast Nebraska. The focus on ethnic identity formation, with an emphasis on the ways in which community and family are constructed, will circumscribe the more general topics of education, health care and work. This article describes the self-identification of the newly arrived Latino immigrants. In turn, it studies how that identity affects their access to community resources. The research is unique not only in its focus but also in its theoretical approach, the social constructionist perspective, emphasizing perceptual processes. Participant observation was used with open-ended interviews. The research utilized secondary data including U.S. census information, state and local demographic data, and newspaper accounts. Participant observation is employed to determine the physical and social location of individuals and groups of individuals in relation to other members of the community. Participant observation is also necessary to gain access to potential interviewees as well as to create credibility for the researcher in the community. Previous research has examined the mainstream community responses to these and similar migrations. This focuses on the Latinos' perceptions of their experience and the consequences for Latino identity and the broader community.

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