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Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race
Synopses & Reviews
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Read the Introduction
We Know We're Not White: Author Interview on San Diego Weekly Reader
aGomez sets out to write aan antidote to historical amnesia about the key nineteenth-century events that produced the first Mexican Americans.a A law professor at the University of New Mexico, Gomez takes a three-pronged approach: she looks at Chicano history via sociology, history, and law, using New Mexico as a case study. At the heart of the book is the idea that Manifest Destiny was not, according to Gomez, a neutral political theory. Rather, it was a potent ideology that endowed white Americans with a sense of entitlement to the land and racial superiority over its inhabitants.a
aShows the impacts (then, as now) of the dominant white racist frame coming in from outside what was once northern Mexico.a--Racism Review
A]n interesting and comprehensive look at what New Mexicans really lost after being conquered by the United States.
--The Albuquerque Journal
aGomezas insights into the struggles at play in the nineteenth-century Southwest are extremely relevant for today--a time in which identity politics are still predominant in discussions about culture. . . . With Chicanos making up the youngest racial group in America (34 percent are under the age of 18), the complicated relationship between the U.S. and its Mexican citizens is clearly something that is going to be on the table for a long time to come. Manifest Destinies presents a portrait of the forces that were present when this group was still in its infancy.a
aAre Mexican Americans a racial or ethnic group? This is the important question ManifestDestinies asks and answers. . . . Marvelous, dense, and richly researched.a
--Ramon A. Gutierrez, University of Chicago
aHighlights the largely neglected history of multiracial populations that, throughout our nationas history, have come together along the frontier. With her analysis of racial ideologies . . . Gomez promises to make a valuable contribution to this literature.a
--Rachel Moran, author of Interracial Intimacy: The Regulation of Race and Romance
aAnyone interested in understanding the historical experience of the largest ethnic group in the country will find Manifest Destinies both timely and of great interest. . . . Simply put, her work is first rate in every way.a
--Tomas Almaguer, author of Racial Fault Lines: The Historical Origins of White Supremacy in California
In both the historic record and the popular imagination, the story of nineteenth-century westward expansion in America has been characterized by notions of annexation rather than colonialism, of opening rather than conquering, and of settling unpopulated lands rather than displacing existing populations.
Using the territory that is now New Mexico as a case study, Manifest Destinies traces the origins of Mexican Americans as a racial group in the United States, paying particular attention to shifting meanings of race and law in the nineteenth century.
Laura E. Gomez explores the central paradox of Mexican American racial status as entailing the law's designation of Mexican Americans as white and their simultaneous social position as non-white in American society. She tells a neglected story of conflict, conquest, cooperation, and competition among Mexicans, Indians, andEuro-Americans, the regionas three main populations who were the key architects and victims of the laws that dictated what oneas race was and how people would be treated by the law according to oneas race.
Gomezas pathbreaking work--spanning the disciplines of law, history, and sociology--reveals how the construction of Mexicans as an American racial group proved central to the larger process of restructuring the American racial order from the Mexican War (1846-48) to the early twentieth century. The emphasis on white-over-black relations during this period has obscured the significant role played by the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and the colonization of northern Mexico in the racial subordination of black Americans.
The essays in this unique book argue for the inclusion of race as a social construction in the design of large-scale data collection efforts and how scientists must utilize race in the context of specific research questions. This landmark collection concludes on a prescriptive note, providing an arsenal of multidisciplinary, conceptual, and methodological tools for studying race specifically within the context of health inequalities.
Researchers commonly ask subjects to self-identify their race from a menu of preestablished options. Yet if race is a multidimensional, multilevel social construction, this has profound methodological implications for the sciences and social sciences. Race must inform how we design large-scale data collection and how scientists utilize race in the context of specific research questions. This landmark collection argues for the recognition of those implications for research and suggests ways in which they may be integrated into future scientific endeavors. It concludes on a prescriptive note, providing an arsenal of multidisciplinary, conceptual, and methodological tools for studying race specifically within the context of health inequalities.
Contributors: John A. Garcia, Arline T. Geronimus, Laura E. Gandoacute;mez, Joseph L. Graves Jr., Janet E. Helms, Derek Kenji Iwamoto, Jonathan Kahn, Jay S. Kaufman, Mai M. Kindaichi, Simon J. Craddock Lee, Nancy Landoacute;pez, Ethan H. Mereish, Matthew Miller, Gabriel R. Sanchez, Aliya Saperstein, R. Burciaga Valdez, Vicki D. Ybarra
This major new series reproduces an authoritative selection of the most significant articles in different areas of psychology. It focuses in particular on influential articles which are not found in other similar colelctions.
Many of these articles are only available in specialized journals and therfore are not accessible in every library. This landmark series will make a contribution to scholarship and teaching in psychology. It will imorove access to important areas of literature which are difficult to locate, even in the archives of many libraries throughout the world.
Important features in each book make the series an essential research and reference tool, including introductions written by the individual editors providing a lucid survey of difference branches of psychology. The pagination of the original articles has been deliberately retained to facilitate ease of reference. A comprehensive author and subject index guides the reader instantly to major and minor topics within the literature.
About the Author
A native New Mexican, Laura E. Gómez is Professor of Law and American Studies at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of Misconceiving Mothers: Legislators, Prosecutors, and the Politics of Prenatal Drug Exposure.
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History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General