Latinos and the Cultural Transformation of Race
Stanford University Press 2012
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Latino StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network October 8, 2012 Heath Brown
During a Presidential campaign when the ethnic background of many major national figures and immigration in general has weighed heavily on the debate, Wendy Roth‘s new book, Race Migration: Latinos and the Cultural Transformation of Race (Stanford University Press, 2012), offers many insights. Roth, a sociologist by training and on the faculty at the University of British Columbia, delves into the complex conceptions of race, ethnicity, and nationality both in the US and also in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. She compares the ways people living in each of those countries with migrants to New York City according to how they conceptualize race. She finds that a process of structural assimilation into US institutions, particularly education in US colleges and universities, explains how certain migrants take on the more binary and American views of race. There are numerous implications from this book for the study of race and politics. It can help political scientists better understand the political assimilation of immigrants and the ways that race has been constructed through forced measurement and methods of data collection.