How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Latino Studies, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-01-31 21:04Z by Steven

How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts

University of California Press
January 2014
232 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780520280076
Paperback ISBN: 9780520280083
Adbobe PDF E-Book ISBN: 9780520957190
ePUB Format ISBN: 9780520957190

Natalia Molina, Associate Dean for Faculty Equity, Division of Arts; Humanities and Associate Professor of History and Urban Studies
University of California, San Diego

How Race Is Made in America examines Mexican Americans—from 1924, when American law drastically reduced immigration into the United States, to 1965, when many quotas were abolished—to understand how broad themes of race and citizenship are constructed. These years shaped the emergence of what Natalia Molina describes as an immigration regime, which defined the racial categories that continue to influence perceptions in the United States about Mexican Americans, race, and ethnicity.

Molina demonstrates that despite the multiplicity of influences that help shape our concept of race, common themes prevail. Examining legal, political, social, and cultural sources related to immigration, she advances the theory that our understanding of race is socially constructed in relational ways—that is, in correspondence to other groups. Molina introduces and explains her central theory, racial scripts, which highlights the ways in which the lives of racialized groups are linked across time and space and thereby affect one another. How Race Is Made in America also shows that these racial scripts are easily adopted and adapted to apply to different racial groups.


  • List of Illustrations
  • Introduction
  • Part I. Immigration Regimes I: Mapping Race and Citizenship
    • Chapter One: Placing Mexican Immigration within the Larger Landscape of Race Relations in the U.S.
    • Chapter Two: “What is a White Man?”: The Quest to Make Mexicans Ineligible for U.S. Citizenship
    • Chapter Three: Birthright Citizenship Beyond Black and White
  • Part II. Immigration Regimes II: Making Mexicans Deportable
    • Chapter Four: Mexicans Suspended in a State of Deportability: Medical Racialization and Immigration Policy in the 1940s
    • Chapter Five: Deportations in the Urban Landscape
  • Epilogue: Making Race in the Twenty-First Century
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
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