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Latino Metropolis

Victor M. Valle
Rodolfo D. Torres
Volume: 7
Copyright Date: 2000
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Latino Metropolis
    Book Description:

    Los Angeles: scratch the surface of the city’s image as a rich mosaic of multinational cultures and a grittier truth emerges-its huge, shimmering economy was built on the backs of largely Latino immigrants and still depends on them. This book exposes the underside of the development and restructuring that have turned Los Angeles into a global city, and in doing so it reveals the ways in which ideas about ethnicity-Latino identity itself-are implicated and elaborated in the process.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8855-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    Saskia Sassen

    This extraordinary account of the Latino population in the Greater Los Angeles area is an important contribution to the political economy of place. In dissecting a particular place, the Greater Eastside of Los Angeles, the authors help us see the possibility of a new kind of Latino politics. Further, by focusing on Latinos in this place they help us understand the shortcomings of existing categories about race relations and such entities as ghettos and barrios. These terms do not capture the distinctive situation and potential of the Latino population in Los Angeles. As a place, Los Angeles and its metropolitan...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-14)

    The beginning of the twenty-first century signifies an epochal transformation in the nature of U.S. society. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the precipitous growth of the immigrant and refugee population in urban centers of the United States. Unlike the peak years of immigration early in the twentieth century, when European peoples predominated, the vast majority of contemporary immigrant and refugee groups have their origins in either Asia or Latin America. Earlier waves of immigration from Asia and Latin America (then primarily Mexico) notwithstanding, the “new immigrants” are entering a society that is vastly different from that entered by...

  6. 1 Economic Geography of Latino Los Angeles
    (pp. 15-44)

    Finding those snapshots that reveal the human faces of immigrant workers, typically disguised as the late twentieth century’s ultimate alien outsider, remains the defining challenge for academics, activists, and journalists interested in explaining and changing our “postindustrial” economy. Sometimes the desired image, or frozen time surface, reveals more than initially intended. This appears to be the case in a 1993 investigative series published in theLos Angeles Timeson Latino immigrant workers in Los Angeles County’s manufacturing workplaces; the article that opens the series begins with three anecdotes of postindustrial Sinclairian death and misery: “One woman was doused head to...

  7. 2 “Policing” Race: The Media’s Representation of the Los Angeles Riots
    (pp. 45-66)

    The firestorm of news media coverage fueled by the Los Angeles riot that erupted April 29, 1992, had a common underlying theme. Whether victims, bystanders, or heroes, the residents of the riot zones were portrayed as actors in a great melodrama of “race relations.” Both local and national media promoted coverage that used the concept of “race” as a storytelling strategy. For audience convenience, it seemed, the cast was color coded.

    The following example of postriot coverage illustrates the pattern. Days after the riot had ended, aLos Angeles Timespoll asked local residents, “Do you thinkrace relationsin...

  8. 3 Mexican Cuisine: Food as Culture
    (pp. 67-100)

    The following passage, written by Charles Fletcher Lummis and published in 1903 inThe Landmarks Club Cook Book, captures a revealing moment in Los Angeles cultural history:

    While a few other cities are as “cosmopolitan” as Los Angeles, no other city in the world is made up of so many intelligent and well-to-do people so far from their old homes and from homes so widely scattered. Without going outside their own yard or their own “social set,” [housewives] may exchange recipes for English puddings, New England pies, French sautes, Italian pastes, Swiss hassenpfeffer, Virginia corn pone, Mexican chocolate—in fine,...

  9. 4 Contesting “Showtime”: Latino Leaders in Downtown Development
    (pp. 101-142)

    As Angel Rama noted in 1984, cities can be read as texts.¹ In urban landscapes today, the completion of a high-rise or a sports stadium can serve as a bookmark in the ongoing story of city making. New structures of concrete and glass not only reshape the urban landscape, they can symbolically close an argument, one in which power has temporarily silenced its rivals to impose its version of what a city should become, or mark a moment when an older narrative gives way to a new story line. The debate that raged over the construction of a state-of-the-art indoor...

  10. 5 Significant Space: Public Areas in the Greater Eastside
    (pp. 143-166)

    The social and political construction of landscape becomes observable in the act of mapmaking. The manner in which a landscape is represented, the manner in which names and boundaries are affixed to that map, reveals how a particular society is organized, what significance that society attaches to the particular features of a landscape, and what it expects of those features. Said simply, geographic representations are also symbolic acts.¹ Mapmaking, like the military conquests that often precede it, is also an expression of power. A state that attempts to normalize a particular map hopes to convince its citizens and neighbors that...

  11. 6 Class and Culture Wars in the New Latino Politics
    (pp. 167-194)

    Although events in the Whittier Narrows and other public spaces of the Greater Eastside may tempt some to imagine scenarios of Latino hegemony in the twenty-first century, the social, economic, and cultural complexities of Los Angeles will prevent the attainment of any simple notions of outright dominance. Population trends suggest that Latinos may have to wait until past the midcentury mark before their numerical dominance becomes irresistible. When and if that moment arises, increasing social differentiation and class divisions within the Latino community, complicated by globalism’s unforeseen permutations, will make simple notions of ethnic cohesion problematic.

    Rather, if Latino power...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 195-220)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 221-234)
  14. Index
    (pp. 235-250)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 251-251)