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Newcomers, Outsiders, and Insiders

Immigrants and American Racial Politics in the Early Twenty-first Century

Ronald Schmidt Sr., Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, Andrew L. Aoki, and Rodney E. Hero

Publication Year: 2010

The authors have done a commendable and impressive job of addressing a topic of long-lasting and increasing significance in U.S. politics. ---F. Chris Garcia, University of New Mexico "This is a path-breaking book that will be read across disciplines beyond political science." ---James Jennings, Tufts University Over the past four decades, the United States has experienced the largest influx of immigrants in its history. Not only has the ratio of European to non-European newcomers changed, but the numbers of recent arrivals from the Asian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, South America, and other regions are increasing. In this timely study, a team of political scientists examines how the arrival of these newcomers has affected the efforts of long-standing U.S. minority groups---Blacks, Latinos, and Asian Pacific Americans---to gain equality through greater political representation and power. The authors predict that, for some time to come, the United States will function as a complex multiracial hierarchy, rather than as a genuine democracy. Ronald Schmidt, Sr. is Professor of Political Science at California State University, Long Beach. Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh is Associate Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Office for Women's Affairs (OWA) at Indiana University, Bloomington. Andrew L. Aoki is Professor of Political Science at Augsburg College. Rodney E. Hero is the Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Series: Politics of Race and Ethnicity, The


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. v-vi

Throughout the history of the United States, multiple racial and ethnic minority outsider groups have struggled to overcome stigmatization, discrimination, and exclusion in order to become equal insiders in the country’s political, social, and economic spheres. In recent decades, the political efforts of three particular such outsider groups—Blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans—to gain greater presence and power in American society...


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p. vii

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Introduction: Focus, Framework, Benchmarks

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pp. 1-6

This book explores the political consequences of the intersection of two highly controversial social phenomena: the continuing efforts of racial minority outsider groups to gain greater presence and power in American politics and society, and the arrival of an extraordinary number of immigrant newcomers from countries other than Europe to the United States in the last four decades, an influx that is dramatically changing the ethnic...

Part 1: Immigrants and the New Racial Politics

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1. The “New Immigration” and U.S. Ethnoracial Politics

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pp. 9-36

On August 28, 1963, in one of the largest public demonstrations of political engagement in U.S. history, more than two hundred thousand people—most, but by no means all, of them with dark skins—gathered before the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to demand freedom and justice for America’s Black population. Covered live by the national television news media, the highlight of the mass demonstration was a...

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2. Analytical Framework for Studying Political Incorporation

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pp. 37-63

Chapter 1 described the extent to which immigration has transformed the demographic composition of ethnoracial minority communities in the United States. In this chapter, we come to the central question with which this book is concerned: how is this demographic transformation affecting the politics of ethnoracial minority groups in the United States? What patterns might we expect to see in the future political development of the...

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Part 2: Historical and Social Contexts

Before we move to the heart of our inquiry, we believe it is important to set the stage for that inquiry by examining several important aspects of the contexts within which these changes in U.S. politics are taking place. First, we believe that all political events take place within a context in which history plays an important role in shaping contemporary political action. Accordingly, it is crucial to understand that contemporary U.S....

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3. The Historical Context of U.S. Ethnoracial Politics

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pp. 67-103

The new immigrants find themselves in an old ethnoracial order. In this chapter, we describe the development of this ethnoracial order in the United States. This ethnoracial system is a key contextual factor shaping the way that immigrants are incorporated into American politics. After presenting an overview of racialization, we look at the ways in which specific subpopulations have been racialized in the United States. Because...

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4. The Persistence of Racial Segregation in a Diverse America

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pp. 104-124

As noted in the introduction to part 2,we believe that it is impossible to understand the impacts of recent immigrants on American ethnoracial politics without understanding the historical and social contexts within which these two dynamic political forces are interacting. In the previous chapter we provided some historical context for contemporary events by summarizing the impact of racialization on the development of our three primary ethnoracial...

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Part 3: Political Incorporation in an Era of Immigration

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pp. 125-129

We now reach the analytical heart of our book. We began, in part 1, by outlining the dimensions of the new immigration’s impacts on the demography of ethnoracial minority groups in the United States, and by outlining four different ways in which ethnoracial politics in the United States may evolve in light of the demographic changes wrought by recent immigration. In part 2, we examined the historical and social contexts...

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5. Political Participation, Descriptive Representation, and the Quest for Political Power

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pp. 131-193

Political participation is the core foundation for any democratic form of government. It is through participation that members of a political community share in processes of choosing public officials, holding public officials accountable for their actions, deliberate with other members on the most advantageous courses of action for the community, and try to persuade, pressure or otherwise influence public officials’ actions on behalf...

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6. Political Incorporation, Governing Coalitions, and Public Policy

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pp. 194-246

Having provided an overview of the ways in which recent immigrants have affected the degree to which U.S. Blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans (1) are participants in and (2) are represented in the political process, we turn now to an examination of our next two benchmarks of political incorporation: (3) substantial influence or power over governmental decisions through membership in governing coalitions, and (4) the adoption...

Part 4: Conclusions

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7. Immigrants and the Future of American Ethnoracial Politics

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pp. 249-268

This book has aimed at bringing better understanding of the impacts of recent immigration on the political efforts of three U.S. ethnoracial minority groups—Blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders— to gain fuller democratic inclusion into American society and politics.We have identified and explained the ways in which immigrant newcomers to the United States are affecting the efforts of the country’s long-standing...


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pp. 269-274


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pp. 275-295


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pp. 297-322

E-ISBN-13: 9780472022199
E-ISBN-10: 0472022199
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472033768
Print-ISBN-10: 047203376X

Page Count: 368
Illustrations: 32 Tables
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Politics of Race and Ethnicity, The
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OCLC Number: 593246921
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Newcomers, Outsiders, and Insiders

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Ethnic relations.
  • United States -- Race relations.
  • Cultural pluralism -- United States.
  • Americanization.
  • Immigrants -- Political activity -- United States.
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