Making and Meaning of Race

Making and Meaning of Race

Shifting Ethnic Boundaries and Inequality in Israel, or: How the Polish Peddler Became a German Intellectual

Aziza Khazzoom
Stanford University Press, 2008

Why do racial and ethnic groups discriminate against each other? The most common sociological answer is that they want to monopolize scarce resources—good jobs or top educations—for themselves. This book offers a different answer, showing that racial and ethnic discrimination can also occur to preserve particular group identities. Shifting Ethnic Boundaries and Inequality in Israel focuses on the early period of Israeli statehood to examine how the European Jewish founders treated Middle Eastern Jewish immigrants. The author argues that, shaped by their own unique encounter with European colonialism, the European Jews were intent on producing Israel as part of the West.

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Understanding the LatinX Experience: Developmental and Contextual Influences

Sylvia Martinez
Stylus Publishing, 2019

The Latino presence continues to grow in traditional population enclaves and has tripled in areas that are not traditionally associated with this pan-ethnic group. The dramatic growth of this population in the U.S. requires a considerably deeper understanding of individuals that share this multifaceted identity. This timely book synthesizes new research and its implications for practice that is critical for professionals working with Latinos in educational and counseling contexts. The authors provide insight into identity development, environmental influences, and how these factors influence persistence in higher education. By using a synthesis approach to organize multiple studies around how being Latinx influences the experiences of students in college and beyond, the authors offer a holistic view of the Latino population. Practitioners will learn about practices that help Latinx college students. Faculty and researchers will gain new understandings of the Latinx experience, and discover a starting point for further reflection and investigation.

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Sticky Rice: A Politics of Intraracial Desire

Cynthia Wu
Temple, 2018

Cynthia Wu’s provocative Sticky Rice examines representations of same-sex desires and intraracial intimacies in some of the most widely read pieces of Asian American literature. Analyzing canonical works such as John Okada’s No-No Boy, Monique Truong’s The Book of Salt, H. T. Tsiang’s And China Has Hands, and Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Blu’s Hanging, as well as Philip Kan Gotanda’s play, Yankee Dawg You Die, Wu considers how male relationships in these texts blur the boundaries among the homosocial, the homoerotic, and the homosexual in ways that lie beyond our concepts of modern gay identity. The “sticky rice” of Wu’s title is a term used in gay Asian American culture to describe Asian American men who desire other Asian American men. The bonds between men addressed in Sticky Rice show how the thoughts and actions founded by real-life intraracially desiring Asian-raced men can inform how we read the refusal of multiple normativities in Asian Americanist discourse. Wu lays bare the trope of male same-sex desires that grapple with how Asian America’s internal divides can be resolved in order to resist assimilation.

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The Language of Blood: The Making of Spanish American Identity in New Mexico, 1880s-1930s

John Nieto-Phillips
University of New Mexico Press, 2004

When the United States declared war on Spain in 1898, rumors abounded throughout the nation that the Spanish-speaking population of New Mexico secretly sympathized with the enemy. At the end of the war, The New York Times warned that New Mexico's "Mexicans professed a deep hostility to American ideas and American policies." This perception of Spanish-speaking New Mexicans as "un-American" was widely shared. Such allegations of disloyalty, coupled with the prevalent views that all Mexican peoples were racially non-white and "unfit" to assume the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship, inspired powerful reactions among the Spanish-speaking people of New Mexico. John M. Nieto-Phillips, himself a nuevomexicano, argues that Spanish-American identity evolved out of a medieval rhetoric about blood purity, or limpieza de sangre, as well as a modern longing to enter the United States' white body politic.

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Redefining Race: Asian American Panethnicity and Shifting Ethnic Boundaries

Dina Okamoto
Russell Sage Foundation, 2014

In 2012, the Pew Research Center issued a report that named Asian Americans as the "highest-income, best-educated, and fastest-growing racial group in the United States." Despite this optimistic conclusion, over thirty Asian American advocacy groups challenged the findings, noting that the term "Asian American" is complicated. It includes a wide range of ethnicities, national origins, and languages, and encompasses groups that differ greatly in their economic and social status. In Redefining Race, sociologist Dina G. Okamoto traces the complex evolution of "Asian American" as a panethnic label and identity, emphasizing how it is a deliberate social achievement negotiated by group members, rather than an organic and inevitable process.

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Uneven Encounters: Making Race and Nation in Brazil and the United States

Micol Seigel
Duke University Press, 2009

In Uneven Encounters, Micol Seigel chronicles the exchange of popular culture between Brazil and the United States in the years between the World Wars, and demonstrates how that exchange affected ideas of race and nation in both countries. Seigel shows how race and nation for both elites and non-elites are constructed together, and driven by global cultural and intellectual currents as well as local, regional, and national ones. Seigel introduces readers to cosmopolitan Afro-Brazilians and African Americans who rarely traveled far from home but who nonetheless absorbed ideas from abroad. She suggests that studies comparing U.S. and Brazilian racial identities as two distinct constructions are misconceived. Racial formation transcends national borders; attempts to understand it must do the same.

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The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority

Ellen Wu
Princeton University Press, 2013

The Color of Success tells of the astonishing transformation of Asians in the United States from the "yellow peril" to "model minorities"--peoples distinct from the white majority but lauded as well-assimilated, upwardly mobile, and exemplars of traditional family values--in the middle decades of the twentieth century. As Ellen Wu shows, liberals argued for the acceptance of these immigrant communities into the national fold, charging that the failure of America to live in accordance with its democratic ideals endangered the country's aspirations to world leadership.

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Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society
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