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
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.
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