Date of Award


Document Type



The manner by which persons act upon, shape, and change social structure are central areas of study in sociological social psychology. Modification of social structure may be accomplished by persons creatively reacting to social roles. Through processes of legitimation, persons are provided various rewards and these, in turn, establish and hierarchically order a combination of role-identities collectively comprising the self. This ordering of role-identities, termed role-identity prominence, potentially impacts choices for alternative courses of action. This research empirically measures role-identity prominence of college students who have conducted agricultural migrant work. It empirically assesses the level of prominence for the migrant worker role-identity and student identity. Data are collected using self-report measures which examine whether or not, and the degree to which, the migrant worker and student role-identities are prominent. Flowing from identity theory, the following hypotheses are posited: 1.) The prominence level for the ‘migrant’ identity for migrant students will be higher than the prominence level of the ‘student’ identity for migrant students; 2.) The level of role support for the ‘migrant’ identity for migrant students will be higher than the role support for the ‘student’ identity for migrant students; 3). The level of intrinsic gratification for the ‘migrant’ identity for migrant students will be higher than intrinsic gratification for the ‘student’ identity for migrant students. Analysis of data collected is conducted by assessing mean scores for the prominence level of the migrant worker and college student identities. Mean prominence scores are compared for the identities. Confirmatory factor analysis is conducted to create subsequent prominence scales. Contrary to the posited hypotheses, results indicate that the migrant worker identity is not more prominent than the college student identity. Results also indicate that the students reported higher levels of role support and intrinsic gratifications for the ‘student’ identity. P values indicated a significant difference between identities for each of the three posited hypotheses. Contributions of the study include support for research on identity salience, reliability of the prominence scale across different identities, and support for research on the importance of education to Hispanic students.

Granting Institution

University of Texas Brownsville



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