The Columbia History of Latinos in the United States Since 1960

The Columbia History of Latinos in the United States Since 1960

EDITED BY DAVID G. GUTIÉRREZ
Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 512
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/guti11808
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Columbia History of Latinos in the United States Since 1960
    Book Description:

    Latinos are now the largest so-called minority group in the United States -- the result of a growth trend that began in the mid-twentieth century -- and the influence of Latin cultures on American life is reflected in everything from politics to education to mass cultural forms such as music and television. Yet very few volumes have attempted to analyze or provide a context for this dramatic historical development. The Columbia History of Latinos in the United States Since 1960 is among the few comprehensive histories of Latinos in America. This collaborative, interdisciplinary volume provides not only cutting-edge interpretations of recent Latino history, including essays on the six major immigrant groups (Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Central Americans, and South Americans), but also insight into the major areas of contention and debate that characterize Latino scholarship in the early twenty-first century.

    This much-needed book offers a broad overview of this era of explosive demographic and cultural change by exploring the recent histories of all the major national and regional Latino subpopulations and reflecting on what these historical trends might mean for the future of both the United States and the other increasingly connected nations of the Western Hemisphere. While at one point it may have been considered feasible to explore the histories of national populations in isolation from one another, all of the contributors to this volume highlight the deep transnational ties and interconnections that bind different peoples across national and regional lines. Thus, each chapter on Latino national subpopulations explores the ambiguous and shifting boundaries that so loosely define them both in the United States and in their countries of origin. A multinational perspective on important political and cultural themes -- such as Latino gender systems, religion, politics, expressive and artistic cultures, and interactions with the law -- helps shape a realistic interpretation of the Latino experience in the United States.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50841-4
    Subjects: Sociology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-xxvi)
  5. INTRODUCTION. DEMOGRAPHY AND THE SHIFTING BOUNDARIES OF “COMMUNITY”: REFLECTIONS ON “U.S. LATINOS” AND THE EVOLUTION OF LATINO STUDIES
    (pp. 1-42)
    DAVID G. GUTIÉRREZ

    In 1960, at the beginning of the period under examination in this volume, few observers of American society—including Americans of Latin descent themselves—thought of Latinos as part of a discernable “minority” population. Of course, people in the Southwest were aware of the regional presence of a significant ethnic Mexican minority, and residents of the Northeast recognized how much the Puerto Rican population had grown in the years since World War II. But beyond the fact that Puerto Ricans and Mexicans came from “mixed-race” backgrounds, spoke Spanish, tended to be Roman Catholic, and seemed to share certain aesthetic affinities,...

  6. ONE GLOBALIZATION, LABOR MIGRATION, AND THE DEMOGRAPHIC REVOLUTION: ETHNIC MEXICANS IN THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY
    (pp. 43-86)
    DAVID G. GUTIÉRREZ

    In september 1999, in the small town of Dalton, Georgia, local citizens were treated to an unusual sight as hundreds, and eventually more than two thousand, Latinos lined the city’s streets for a parade commemorating el dieciseis de septiembre—Mexican Independence Day. Like most other towns in the deep South, Dalton had until recently a population demarcated by the old racial divide between blacks and whites. On this day in September, however, with street merchants peddling tacos, pan dulce (sweet bread), raspadas (snow cones), and other Mexican delicacies, and other vendors hawking miniature Mexican flags, T-shirts, and bumper stickers proclaiming...

  7. TWO SOCIAL POLARIZATION AND COLONIZED LABOR: PUERTO RICANS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1945–2000
    (pp. 87-145)
    KELVIN A. SANTIAGO-VALLES and GLADYS M. JIMÉNEZ-MUÑOZ

    During the last twenty-five years the perennial and disproportionately high indices of poverty among Puerto Ricans in the United States continued to puzzle both social scientists and policy makers. Despite the growing numbers of highly educated Puerto Ricans within the United States, this second-largest U.S. Latino group nevertheless still fails to conform to the “immigrant model” of upward mobility and the “ethnic paradigm” of socioeconomic development. Prominent scholars like Marta Tienda and others have argued from the late 1970s to the present day that a satisfactory explanation for the growing social disparities between most Puerto Ricans in the United States...

  8. THREE EXILES, IMMIGRANTS, AND TRANSNATIONALS: THE CUBAN COMMUNITIES OF THE UNITED STATES
    (pp. 146-186)
    MARÍA CRISTINA GARCÍA

    The majority of the 1.3 million Cuban Americans presently in the United States arrived after 1959, when revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro assumed control of the Cuban government. Over the next forty years, more than one-tenth of Cuba’s present-day population migrated to the United States, and thousands more migrated to other countries in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. Unlike other migrations from the Americas, however, Cuban immigration to the United States is not merely a late-twentieth-century phenomenon. It is a pattern that was established several centuries earlier, the product of commercial ties and geographic proximity. Distinct Cuban communities in...

  9. FOUR CENTRAL AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS: DIVERSE POPULATIONS, CHANGING COMMUNITIES
    (pp. 187-228)
    NORMA STOLTZ CHINCHILLA and NORA HAMILTON

    Central Americans have been coming to the United States since the nineteenth century, but large-scale immigration is a relatively recent phenomenon. According to the 1990 census, there were 1,323,800 persons of Central American ancestry in the United States, the majority of them foreign born. Over two-thirds of these had come during the 1980s.¹ By 2000, the number of those who claimed Central American ancestry was 1,686,973.²

    Central American immigration is distinctive for two reasons. The first is its diversity; Central Americans in the United States come from seven different countries. In 1990, over half of those of Central American ancestry...

  10. FIVE TRANSNATIONAL TIES AND INCORPORATION: THE CASE OF DOMINICANS IN THE UNITED STATES
    (pp. 229-256)
    PEGGY LEVITT

    Although basketball is not particularly popular in the Dominican Republic, during his 1996 campaign for the presidency, Leonel Fernández appeared in several television campaign ads “shooting hoops.” By doing so, he wanted to remind the Dominican public that he had grown up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, that he admires U.S. culture and practices, and that, if elected, he would put his international experience and style to work. He also wanted to let the immigrant community know that he appreciated their continuing role in Dominican politics and that he hoped they would remain active in the future. “It...

  11. SIX THE OTHER “OTHER HISPANICS”: SOUTH AMERICAN–ORIGIN LATINOS IN THE UNITED STATES
    (pp. 257-280)
    MARILYN ESPITIA

    During my elementary school years, my teachers annually took a head count of all the “Spanish” children in my class. Although the purpose of this exercise was unclear to me at the time, I knew to raise my hand to be included for the tally even though my parents were from Colombia and I was born in the United States. Intuitively, I knew that the count consisted of all the Spanish speaking children regardless of their birthplace. Later, in middle school, I noticed on my standardized test forms that I was no longer classified as Spanish, but, mysteriously, I had...

  12. SEVEN GENDER AND THE LATINO EXPERIENCE IN LATE-TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICA
    (pp. 281-302)
    PIERRETTE HONDAGNEU-SOTELO

    What topic could be more expansive, slippery, and unwieldy than a discussion of the contours and tenor of gender relations among Latino groups in the United States at the end of the twentieth century? To begin with, the title of this chapter is a misnomer: there is no one, singular Latina or Latino experience in the United States. This has always been the case, but given the diversity of individuals and groups who take shelter under the contemporary Latino umbrella, this is probably truer at this moment than ever before. Similarly, as a result of major advances in the conceptualization...

  13. EIGHT FROM BARRIOS TO BARRICADES: RELIGION AND RELIGIOSITY IN LATINO LIFE
    (pp. 303-354)
    ANTHONY M. STEVENS-ARROYO

    The recent history of Latinos in the United States is a tale of social movements that are similar to the earlier Civil Rights Movement among African Americans. History has recognized the leadership of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the central role of the traditional black churches in supplying a forum, eager recruits, and public legitimacy. But while there is recognition of the religious origins of the movement among African Americans, religion is absent from many accounts of contemporary Latino history.¹

    As I will describe, the churches and the peoples’ religious convictions in the Latino experiences since 1960 have...

  14. NINE U.S. LATINO EXPRESSIVE CULTURES
    (pp. 355-390)
    FRANCES R. APARICIO

    Cultural expression always involves more than simply artistic creation or entertainment. For politically subordinated groups like Latinos, cultural expressions help them acquire a sense of space and belonging within their local communities and in the larger, dominant society (See Roach 1995). Given the history of migration, displacement, and marginalization that many Latinos have faced in the United States, forms of expressive culture such as popular music, visual arts, performance arts, film, and literature have served as important sites for exploring bicultural identity, debates on representation, and the cultural agency and role in U.S. history of people of Latin American descent....

  15. TEN THE CONTINUING LATINO QUEST FOR FULL MEMBERSHIP AND EQUAL CITIZENSHIP: LEGAL PROGRESS, SOCIAL SETBACKS, AND POLITICAL PROMISE
    (pp. 391-420)
    KEVIN R. JOHNSON

    Latinos historically have had an ambiguous and problematic status in the U.S. system of law and jurisprudence. This tenuous relationship has complex origins. On the most fundamental level, Latinos have been disadvantaged legally as well as socially because they have long been considered racially inferior by many Anglo-Americans. In addition, as “foreigners,” Latinos were often viewed as culturally, religiously, and linguistically different and inferior as well.

    As was the case for African Americans, the inferiority ascribed to Latinos was legally codified in many ways. Although perhaps not as systematic as the structure of racial repression constructed in the Jim Crow...

  16. ELEVEN THE PRESSURES OF PERPETUAL PROMISE: LATINOS AND POLITICS, 1960–2003
    (pp. 421-466)
    LOUIS DESIPIO

    At the dawn of the contemporary era of Latino politics, Latinos¹ arguably determined the outcome of a presidential election. In 1960, Mexican Americans in Texas organized to elect John Kennedy through a network of Viva Kennedy! clubs and voted at unprecedented levels. Their votes tipped the Texas election to the Democrats. With Texas’s Electoral College votes committed to Kennedy, there was little incentive for his opponent, Richard Nixon, to contest Illinois’s electoral votes (which included fraudulent votes for both parties). These two states gave Kennedy the victory.

    In the forty years since, and despite a vast growth in the Latino...

  17. List of Contributors
    (pp. 467-470)
  18. INDEX
    (pp. 471-494)