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Race and Immigration

Nazli Kibria, Cara Bowman, Megan O'Leary

ISBN: 978-0-745-64791-3 December 2013 Polity 176 Pages


Immigration has long shaped US society in fundamental ways. With Latinos recently surpassing African Americans as the largest minority group in the US, attention has been focused on the important implications of immigration for the character and role of race in US life, including patterns of racial inequality and racial identity. 

This insightful new book offers a fresh perspective on immigration and its part in shaping the racial landscape of the US today. Moving away from one-dimensional views of this relationship, it emphasizes the dynamic and mutually formative interactions of race and immigration. Drawing on a wide range of studies, it explores key aspects of the immigrant experience, such as the history of immigration laws, the formation of immigrant occupational niches, and developments of immigrant identity and community. Specific topics covered include: the perceived crisis of unauthorized immigration; the growth of an immigrant rights movement; the role of immigrant labor in the elder care industry; the racial strategies of professional immigrants; and the formation of pan-ethnic Latino identities. 

Written in an engaging and accessible style, this book will be invaluable for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate-level courses in the sociology of immigration, race and ethnicity.

Acknowledgments viii

1 The Race–Immigration Nexus 1

2 Immigration Policy and Racial Formations 27

3 Race and the Occupational Strategies of Immigrants 60

4 Immigrant Identities and Racial Hierarchies 116

Conclusions: Race, Immigration, and the American Dream 162

Notes 168

References 173

Index 191

"Race and Immigration tackles two of the most important issues facing American society and demonstrates how we cannot understand one without the other. In an insightful and clear examination of immigration laws, the occupations of immigrants, and the development of identities among newcomers and their children, the authors show how race shapes the fortunes of the newest Americans and how they in turn are shaping the meaning of race in America. This is a readable, intelligent overview of dynamic trends that are reshaping our society."
Mary C. Waters, Harvard University

"From the development of policy to immigrant incorporation and identities, this highly readable book makes clear that racial inequalities and boundaries are central to our understanding of immigration in the United States."
Nancy Foner, Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

"While many scholars have written about race and immigration, this book uniquely brings contemporary structures of racism and immigration to a wide variety of readers. Amidst the political rhetoric of a 'post-racial society' the authors remind us that racism continues to exert deleterious effects on a variety of groups including immigrants. Equally important, this book reminds us about the racialization of two groups that remain less visible in the migration literature: highly skilled migrants and black immigrants. A very timely and useful book for scholars, practitioners, and a general audience of interested readers."
Bandana Purkayastha, University of Connecticut

"Race and Immigration's serious examination of the relationship between immigration, race, and ethnicity is a welcome respite from the din of the acrimonious public debate on the costs and benefits of contemporary immigration. Chock-full of useful and up-to-date information on hotly contested immigration issues, it is a valuable resource for all those interested in social change."
Yen Le Espiritu, University of California, San Diego
  • An insightful new book offering a fresh perspective on immigration and its part in shaping the racial landscape of the US today
  • Demonstrates the important implications immigration has for the character and role of race in US life, including patterns of racial inequality and racial identity
  • Explores key aspects of the immigrant experience such as immigration laws, immigrant communities, and the perceived crisis of unauthorized immigration
  • Ideal for upper-level students thanks to its lively and accessible style, and its sociological engagement with important contemporary issues