Objective. This study examines how racial/ethnic self-identity interrelates with language ability, skin tone, and years in the United States and with indicators of socioeconomic attainment for Dominican immigrants in Reading, Pennsylvania, a new destination city that had a nearly 800 percent increase in the Dominican population between 1990–2000.
Methods. In-depth ethno-surveys conducted with a sample of 65 Dominican-origin adults are the basis for the descriptive analysis.
Results. Based on open-ended responses, nearly 43 percent of immigrants described themselves with a specific ethnic identifier (Dominican) and 41 percent use a more general panethnic identifier (Hispanic or Latino). Panethnic self-identity is interrelated with stronger language ability, lighter skin tone, and more years in the United States, and with better indicators of socioeconomic status.
Conclusion. Race/ethnic identity is an important component of Dominican immigrant assimilation in this new destination context.