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Alex Flores

Alejandro (Alex) Flores

I am a Postdoctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Election Data and Science Lab. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. My work interrogates and strengthens our knowledge of what political inclusivity actually looks like. It generates insight into the ways in which elected representatives engage with marginalized communities of color that are distinct from their interaction with white voters, with particular attention to how they communicate with the former.

My current research agenda traces the institutional arrangements, and their behavioral implications, that underpin the role of language in politics. Specifically, it looks at the political experience of bilinguals, primarily Latinxs in the U.S., a pivotal segment of the electorate that engages in politics across two linguistic environments. That is, it creates awareness about just how much various aspects of political thought and behavior are constrained, and thus explained, by language use. Further, this line of inquiry examines the extent to which those linguistic considerations are associated with ethno-racial disparities along a span of social, economic, health, or political issues—and puts forward the theory that language plays a constitutive part in addressing such inequalities. In essence, it offers new answers to the overarching question of how government officials and scholars promote the interests of multicultural, multilingual populations.

Such investigative advances were made possible and supported by the Social Science Research Council, the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Diversifying Faculty in Illinois Fellowship, the National Science Foundation, and the American Political Science Association Fund for Latino Scholarship. This research has been published in the Journal of Political Communication as well as featured on National Public Radio and Bloomberg News.

I hold a M.A. and B.A. from the University of Chicago. I am also a former Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow.