Latino Small Businesses and the American Dream

Latino Small Businesses and the American Dream: Community Social Work Practice and Economic and Social Development

MELVIN DELGADO
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 296
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/delg15088
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  • Book Info
    Latino Small Businesses and the American Dream
    Book Description:

    Latino small businesses provide social, economic, and cultural comfort to their communities. They are also excellent facilitators of community capacity -- a major component of effective social work practice. Social work practitioners have a vested interest in seeing such businesses grow, not only among Latinos but all communities of color. Reviewing the latest research on formal and informal economies within urban communities of color, Melvin Delgado lays out the demographic foundations for a richer collaboration between theory and practice.

    Delgado deploys numerous case studies to cement the link between indigenous small businesses and community well-being. Whether regulated or unregulated, these establishments hire from within and promote immigrant self-employment. Latino small businesses often provide jobs for those whose criminal and mental health backgrounds intimidate conventional businesses. Recently estimated to be the largest group of color running small businesses in the United States, Latino owners top two million, with the number expected to double within the next few years. Joining an understanding of these institutions with the kind of practice that enables their social and economic improvement, Delgado explains how to identify and mobilize the kinds of resources that best spur their development.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-52178-9
    Subjects: Sociology, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  4. PART 1 SETTING THE CONTEXT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE UNITED STATE
    • 1 INTRODUCTION
      (pp. 3-30)

      THIS BOOK SEEKS to fill an important gap in the scholarly literature on Latino small-business ownership in the United States and to do so from the perspective of community social work practice. It pays close attention to the interplay of social, economic, and political forces shaping small businesses and their relationships with the Latino community in urban centers. The current socioeconomic conditions and fate of urban communities are worthy of attention by national policy makers, as well as practitioners and academics, and the ultimate success of Latino-owned businesses is tied to the fate of the nation’s cities given the high...

    • 2 LATINO DEMOGRAPHICS AND GEOGRAPHIC DISPERSAL
      (pp. 31-63)

      AS HIRSCHMAN (2005) highlights, demographic trends sometimes contain contradictions, and therein lies the challenge for the practitioner (Booth 2006). The interpretation of demographic statistics is influenced by one’s position regarding communities of color, newcomers, and native-born citizens and one’s values and principles related to social justice. Fortunately, the social work profession has experience in viewing demographics within an urban setting and using this context to shape practitioners’ perspectives and interventions.

      The subject of demographics is a vital part of any systematic examination of small business activity in the United States (Brookings Institution 2009; Reamer 2009). It not only provides a...

    • 3 RACIAL AND ETHNIC SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE UNITED STATES
      (pp. 64-92)

      THE DEMOGRAPHIC PICTURE of the Latino community in the United States presented in the previous chapter has established a foundation from which to understand the relationship between small businesses and population size, profile, and demographic trends. This chapter details the historic role such enterprises have played in urban communities of color in the United States and a variety of conceptual ways of viewing these establishments (Pages 2005).

      As the quote above attests to, there really is very little that is small about “small businesses” in this country, regardless of their geographical setting and the ethnic and racial background of the...

    • 4 LATINO SMALL BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
      (pp. 93-146)

      LATINO SMALL BUSINESSES can best be appreciated when viewed within the broader context of the history of racial and ethnic small businesses in the United States and the role these institutions play within their respective communities. Rodriguez’s (1990) provocative statement made over thirty years ago to the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation raises the importance of economic empowerment of Latino and the active and meaningful role they can play in the social and economic destiny of the United States.

      Latino economic and social advancement in this country depends on this community’s ability to enter the business world in sufficient...

  5. PART 2 COMMUNITY SOCIAL WORK VALUES AND ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK
    • 5 VALUES, PRINCIPLES, AND ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK
      (pp. 149-162)

      LATINO SMALL BUSINESSES have a significant presence in the United States, as noted in chapter 4. They defy simple explanations as to their success and role within the community, but the multifaceted role community social workers can play in fostering their development cannot be underestimated.

      It would be foolhardy to start a section of a book on community social work practice without first grounding the reader in a set of values and principles related to this form of practice. Values and principles take on greater importance when addressing a much overlooked topic such as fostering the creation and support of...

    • 6 INDICATORS OF SUCCESS FOR LATINO SMALL BUSINESSES
      (pp. 163-181)

      COMMUNITY SOCIAL WORK practice can embrace a capacity-enhancement paradigm to help shape how the profession addresses the emergence and expansion of Latino small businesses. The previous chapter identified the potential of community capacity enhancement to bring together the requisite values and tools to help such enterprises increase their likelihood of success.

      Bringing the worlds of research and ethnic small businesses together offers both promise and pitfalls for the social work profession. Berger’s observations above about the coexistence of Boston’s academic institutions and ethnic small businesses representing the past are quite telling. These two worlds cannot afford to exist as if they...

    • 7 IMPLICATIONS FOR THE SOCIAL WORK PROFESSION
      (pp. 182-192)

      THE ROLE OF community social work practitioners and scholars is not to support the status quo and make undervalued people adjust better to their socioeconomic circumstances. As noted in chapter 6, our knowledge of communities can come together with our knowledge of research to create culturally and community-based measures of success that will aid in obtaining financial support for Latino small business ventures.

      Community social work is clearly about bridging divides and creating innovative practice that builds upon a community’s assets and hopes. Some social workers may see Salcido’s assessment above as extreme. Nevertheless, it is a call to action...

  6. EPILOGUE
    (pp. 193-200)

    I MUST BE honest: I love epilogues. An epilogue can serve many different purposes. However, I like to view epilogues as a way of bringing to light themes and issues that were not resolved in the course of writing a book but are too important not to identify before turning the last page.

    The previous chapter provided a variety of ways that community social workers can envision their role in the economic and social development of Latino small businesses and the community they serve. However, undertaking this charge brings with it a set of challenges that cannot be ignored. The...

  7. REFERENCES
    (pp. 201-260)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 261-280)