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Mexicans in California

Transformations and Challenges

Ramon A. Gutierrez

Publication Year: 2009

Numbering over a third of California's population and thirteen percent of the U.S. population, people of Mexican ancestry represent a hugely complex group with a long history in the country. Contributors explore a broad range of issues regarding California's ethnic Mexican population, including their concentration among the working poor and as day laborers; their participation in various sectors of the educational system; social problems such as domestic violence; their contributions to the arts, especially music; media stereotyping; and political alliances and alignments._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Brenda D. Arellano, Leo R. Chavez, Yvette G. Flores, Ramón A. Gutierrez, Aída Hurtado, Olga Najera-Ramírez, Chon A. Noriega, Manuel Pastor Jr., Armida Ornelas, Russell W. Rumberger, Daniel G. Solórzano, Enriqueta Valdez Curiel, and Abel Valenzuela Jr.

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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p. vii

The editors would like to thank the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS), which, along with the UC Committee on Latino Research, sponsored the conference “Latinos in California II” on September 11–12, 2003. Many of the chapters included here are based on research presentations...

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pp. 1-12

This book is about the present, past, and future of California’s ethnic Mexican population, and by implication, the fate of our republic. Of the 36.5 million people living in California today, approximately eleven million are of Mexican ancestry, representing by far the largest single national group in the state and largest...


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1. Poverty, Work, and Public Policy: Latino Futures in California's New Economy

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pp. 15-35

As recession gave way to a strong expansion in the mid-1990s, many felt California had entered an era of a “new economy.” Employment gains over the decade were impressive, with roughly 2.2 million jobs added over the 1991–2000 period. Unemployment rates declined sharply, with the state rate in 2000 dipping below...

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2. Working Day Labor: Informal and Contingent Employment

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pp. 36-58

A review of all articles related to day labor1 appearing in the Los Angeles Times between 1986 and 2006 overwhelmingly portrays this type of employment as unstable, illegal, underpaid, and fraught with employer abuses (Reyes, 1991; Mozingo, 1997; Rosenblatt, 1997; Aubry, 1993). Light and Roach (1996) present day laborers as part...


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3. Understanding and Addressing the California Latino Achievement Gap in Early Elementary School

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pp. 61-76

One of the most pressing problems in California is improving student academic performance. This is especially true for the state’s Latino students, who now represent the largest ethnic group in the state,1 but who generally have much lower achievement levels than white or Asian students.2 If California is going to maintain...

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4. Reaffirming Affirmative Action: An Equal Opportunity Analysis of Advanced Placement Courses and University Admissions

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pp. 77-93

On December 1, 2003, Clark Kerr, the former president of the University of California, passed away. One of the legacies he left was the 1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education. The Master Plan set up California’s threetiered system of higher education that included the University of California admitting the top...

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5. Chicano Struggles for Racial Justice: The Movement's Contribution to Social Theory

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pp. 94-110

Forty years after the beginnings of the Chicano movement in the late 1960s, it is not unusual to hear this question asked: What were the movement’s lasting results? One can easily point to greater access to employment, to education, to housing, and to health care in answer. There have been advances in political representation and...

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6. "Lifting As We Climb": Educated Chicanas' Social Identities and Commitment to Social Action

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pp. 111-130

A recurrent debate in the social sciences is whether the increased social and educational mobility experienced by Chicanos/as, however limited, results in cultural and structural assimilation. In the 1970–80s, as the affirmative action movement transpired, a presumed tenet of the initiative was that, if given opportunities to obtain educational degrees, individuals from economically depressed and...


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7. The Quebec Metaphor, Invasion, and Reconquest in Public Discourse on Mexican Immigration

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pp. 133-154

Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington caused quite a stir when he raised the alarm about Mexican immigration in a 2004 article in Foreign Policy: “In this new era, the single most immediate and most serious challenge to America’s traditional identity comes from the immense and continuing immigration from Latin America, especially from Mexico, and the fertility rates of those immigrants...

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8. Prime-Time Protest: Latinos and Network Television

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pp. 155-167

Despite the well-documented growth of the Latino community as a political and market force within California and nationally, Latinos entered the twenty-first century with a lower level of media access and representation than when protests first raised the issue in the 1960s. After all, since 1970, Latinos have grown...

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9. The Politics of Passion: Poetics and Performance of La Cancion Ranchera

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pp. 168-180

The Mexican ranchera is an expressive musical form intimately associated with Mexican cultural identity.1 As an anthropologist concerned with the ways in which Mexican culture is constructed and perceived, I am intrigued by the ranchera as a critical site for exploring issues of mexicanidad (Mexican identity). Despite the widespread...


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10. Conflict Resolution and Intimate Partner Violence among Mexicans on Both Sides of the Border

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pp. 183-216

By most accounts, intimate partner violence (IPV) has reached epidemic proportions in both the United States and Mexico (Ramos Lira et al., 2003, ENVIM, 2003, INEGI, 2004; Flores-Ortiz et al., 2003; Herrerias et al., 2003; Gobierno de México, 1999; Ramirez Rodriguez and Patiño Guerra, 1997). Moreover, most experts agree that IPV is a complex problem caused by a combination of...


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pp. 217-242


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pp. 243-246


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pp. 247-255

E-ISBN-13: 9780252091421
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252034114

Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 748779220
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Mexicans in California

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Subject Headings

  • Mexican Americans -- California -- Social conditions -- Congresses.
  • Mexicans -- California -- Social conditions -- Congresses.
  • Immigrants -- California -- Social conditions -- Congresses.
  • Mexico -- Emigration and immigration -- Congresses.
  • California -- Emigration and immigration -- Congresses.
  • California -- Ethnic relations -- Congresses.
  • California -- Social conditions -- Congresses.
  • Social change -- California -- Congresses.
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