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Introduction to Latino Politics in the U.S.

ISBN: 978-0-7456-3385-5
288 pages
June 2009, Polity
Introduction to Latino Politics in the U.S. (0745633854) cover image
Focusing on five Latino groups – Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans – this book provides students with a comprehensive introduction to Latino participation in US politics. It begins by looking at the migration history of each group and how that experience is affected by US foreign policy and economic interests in each country of origin. The political status of Latinos on arrival in the United States, including their civil rights, employment opportunities, and political incorporation, is then examined. Finally, the analysis follows each group’s history of collective mobilization and political activity, exploring the varied ways they have engaged in the U.S. political system.

Using the tension between individual agency and structural constraints as its central organizing theme, the discussion situates Latino migrants, and their children, within larger macro economic and geo-political structures that influence their decisions to migrate and their ability to adapt socially, economically, and politically to their new country. It also demonstrates how Latinos continually have shown that through political action they can significantly improve their channels of opportunity. Thus, the book pushes students to think critically about what it means to be a racialized minority group within a majoritarian U.S. political system, and how that position structures Latinos’ ability to achieve their social, economic, and political goals.

For more information and resources visit the accompanying series website: www.politybooks.com/minoritypol
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  • Chapter 1. Introduction: Latinos and U.S. Politics
  • Chapter 2. Latina/o Participation: Individual Activity and Institutional Context
  • Chapter 3. Mexican Americans: Conquest, Migration, and Adaptation
  • Chapter 4. Puerto Ricans: from Colonized People to Political Activists
  • Chapter 5. Cuban Americans: Occupation, Revolution, and Exile Politics
  • Chapter 6. Central Americans: Inequality, War, and Solidarity
  • Chapter 7. Conclusion: The Context of Latino Migration and Mobilization
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    Lisa Garcia Bedolla is professor of social and cultural studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
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    • comprehensive and accessible introduction to Latino participation in US politics
    • focuses on five Latino groups – Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans
    • looks at the migration history of each group and how that experience is affected by US foreign policy and economic interests in each country of origin
    • follows each group’s history of collective mobilization and political activity, exploring the varied ways they have engaged in the U.S. political system
    • packed full of engaging examples to really bring the subject alive for students
    • a volume in the Polity series in US Minority Politics
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    Winner of the APSA Best Book on Latino Politics 2012

    "If you have been looking for a textbook to use in an introductory course on U.S. Latino Politics, stop looking. Lisa Garcia Bedolla's Latino Politics is the book to use."
    Bulletin of Latin American Research

    "Bedolla has given us the determinant must-have resource for any student of Latino politics. Insightful, theoretically sophisticated, well-researched, but also highly accessible, this book provides the most careful and complete analysis of Latinos political diversity, and of their growing significance in American politics."
    Arlene Dávila, New York University

    "If you have been looking for a textbook to use in an introductory course on U.S. Latino Politics, stop looking. Lisa Garcia Bedolla's Latino Politics is the book to use. It seamlessly weaves together theoretical and substantive issues in an eloquent way that carries the narrative forward ensuring that the reader never bogs down. But the genuine brilliance of the book is its transnational lens that allows it to go beyond the typical analysis of Latino politics."
    Héctor Perla Jr. University of California, Santa Cruz

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    Winner of the APSA Best Book on Latino Politics 2012

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