Social Death

Author: Lisa Marie Cacho
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814725422
Format: PDF, Docs
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Winner of the 2013 John Hope Franklin Book Prize presented by the American Studies Association Social Death tackles one of the core paradoxes of social justice struggles and scholarship—that the battle to end oppression shares the moral grammar that structures exploitation and sanctions state violence. Lisa Marie Cacho forcefully argues that the demands for personhood for those who, in the eyes of society, have little value, depend on capitalist and heteropatriarchal measures of worth. With poignant case studies, Cacho illustrates that our very understanding of personhood is premised upon the unchallenged devaluation of criminalized populations of color. Hence, the reliance of rights-based politics on notions of who is and is not a deserving member of society inadvertently replicates the logic that creates and normalizes states of social and literal death. Her understanding of inalienable rights and personhood provides us the much-needed comparative analytical and ethical tools to understand the racialized and nationalized tensions between racial groups. Driven by a radical, relentless critique, Social Death challenges us to imagine a heretofore “unthinkable” politics and ethics that do not rest on neoliberal arguments about worth, but rather emerge from the insurgent experiences of those negated persons who do not live by the norms that determine the productive, patriotic, law abiding, and family-oriented subject.

Race for Citizenship

Author: Helen Heran Jun
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814745016
Format: PDF, ePub
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Helen Heran Jun explores how the history of U.S. citizenshiphas positioned Asian Americans and African Americans in interlocking socio-political relationships since the mid nineteenth century. Rejecting the conventional emphasis on ‘inter-racial prejudice,’ Jun demonstrates how a politics of inclusion has constituted a racial Other within Asian American and African American discourses of national identity. Race for Citizenship examines three salient moments when African American and Asian American citizenship become acutely visible as related crises: the ‘Negro Problem’ and the ‘Yellow Question’ in the mid- to late 19th century; World War II-era questions around race, loyalty, and national identity in the context of internment and Jim Crow segregation; and post-Civil Rights discourses of disenfranchisement and national belonging under globalization. Taking up a range of cultural texts—the 19th century black press, the writings of black feminist Anna Julia Cooper, Asian American novels, African American and Asian American commercial film and documentary—Jun does not seek to document signs of cross-racial identification, but instead demonstrates how the logic of citizenship compels racialized subjects to produce developmental narratives of inclusion in the effort to achieve political, economic, and social incorporation. Race for Citizenship provides a new model of comparative race studies by situating contemporary questions of differential racial formations within a long genealogy of anti-racist discourse constrained by liberal notions of inclusion.

The Cultural Politics of U S Immigration

Author: Leah Perry
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479828777
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In the 1980s, amid increasing immigration from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia, the circle of who was considered American seemed to broaden, reflecting the democratic gains made by racial minorities and women. Although this expanded circle was increasingly visible in the daily lives of Americans through TV shows, films, and popular news media, these gains were circumscribed by the discourse that certain immigrants, for instance single and working mothers, were feared, censured, or welcomed exclusively as laborers. In The Cultural Politics of U.S. Immigration, Leah Perry argues that 1980s immigration discourse in law and popular media was a crucial ingredient in the cohesion of the neoliberal idea of democracy. Blending critical legal analysis with a feminist media studies methodology over a range of sources, including legal documents, congressional debates, and popular media, such as Golden Girls, Who’s the Boss?, Scarface, and Mi Vida Loca, Perry shows how even while “multicultural” immigrants were embraced, they were at the same time disciplined through gendered discourses of respectability. Examining the relationship between law and culture, this book weaves questions of legal status and gender into existing discussions about race and ethnicity to revise our understanding of both neoliberalism and immigration.

African American

Author: Marilyn Halter
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814760708
Format: PDF, Kindle
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African & American tells the story of the much overlooked experience of first and second generation West African immigrants and refugees in the United States during the last forty years. Interrogating the complex role of post-colonialism in the recent history of black America, Marilyn Halter and Violet Showers Johnson highlight the intricate patterns of emigrant work and family adaptation, the evolving global ties with Africa and Europe, and the translocal connections among the West African enclaves in the United States. Drawing on a rich variety of sources, including original interviews, personal narratives, cultural and historical analysis, and documentary and demographic evidence, African & American explores issues of cultural identity formation and socioeconomic incorporation among this new West African diaspora. Bringing the experiences of those of recent African ancestry from the periphery to the center of current debates in the fields of immigration, ethnic, and African American studies, Halter and Johnson examine the impact this community has had on the changing meaning of “African Americanness” and address the provocative question of whether West African immigrants are, indeed, becoming the newest African Americans.

Recovering History Constructing Race

Author: Martha Menchaca
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292778481
Format: PDF, ePub
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The history of Mexican Americans is a history of the intermingling of races—Indian, White, and Black. This racial history underlies a legacy of racial discrimination against Mexican Americans and their Mexican ancestors that stretches from the Spanish conquest to current battles over ending affirmative action and other assistance programs for ethnic minorities. Asserting the centrality of race in Mexican American history, Martha Menchaca here offers the first interpretive racial history of Mexican Americans, focusing on racial foundations and race relations from prehispanic times to the present. Menchaca uses the concept of racialization to describe the process through which Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. authorities constructed racial status hierarchies that marginalized Mexicans of color and restricted their rights of land ownership. She traces this process from the Spanish colonial period and the introduction of slavery through racial laws affecting Mexican Americans into the late twentieth-century. This re-viewing of familiar history through the lens of race recovers Blacks as important historical actors, links Indians and the mission system in the Southwest to the Mexican American present, and reveals the legal and illegal means by which Mexican Americans lost their land grants.

The New Immigrant Whiteness

Author: Claudia Sadowski-Smith
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479806714
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Explores the racialization of immigrants from post-Soviet states and the nuances of citizenship for this new diaspora. Mapping representations of post-1980s immigration from the former Soviet Union to the United States in interviews, reality TV shows, fiction, and memoirs, Claudia Sadowski-Smith shows how this nationally and ethnically diverse group is associated with idealized accounts of the assimilation and upward mobility of early twentieth-century arrivals from Europe. As it traces the contributions of historical Eastern European migration to the emergence of a white racial identity that continues to provide privileges to many post-Soviet migrants, the book places the post-USSR diaspora into larger discussions about the racialization of contemporary US immigrants under neoliberal conditions. The New Immigrant Whiteness argues that legal status on arrival––as participants in refugee, marriage, labor, and adoptive migration–– impacts post-Soviet immigrants’ encounters with growing socioeconomic inequalities and tightened immigration restrictions, as well as their attempts to construct transnational identities. The book examines how their perceived whiteness exposes post-Soviet family migrants to heightened expectations of assimilation, explores undocumented migration from the former Soviet Union, analyzes post-USSR immigrants’ attitudes toward anti-immigration laws that target Latina/os, and considers similarities between post-Soviet and Asian immigrants in their association with notions of upward immigrant mobility. A compelling and timely volume, The New Immigrant Whiteness offers a fresh perspective on race and immigration in the United States today.

Recognition Odysseys

Author: Brian Klopotek
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822349841
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Compares the experiences of three central Louisiana Indian tribes with federal tribal recognition policy to illuminate the complex relationship between recognition policy and American Indian racial and tribal identities.

Captivity Beyond Prisons

Author: Martha D. Escobar
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 147730830X
Format: PDF, Docs
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Today the United States leads the world in incarceration rates. The country increasingly relies on the prison system as a "fix" for the regulation of societal issues. Captivity Beyond Prisons is the first full-length book to explicitly link prisons and incarceration to the criminalization of Latina (im)migrants. Starting in the 1990s, the United States saw tremendous expansion in the number of imprisoned (im)migrants, specifically Latinas/os. Consequently, there was also an increase in the number of deportations. In addition to regulating society, prisons also serve as a reproductive control strategy, both in preventing female inmates from having children and by separating them from their families. With an eye to racialized and gendered technologies of power, Escobar argues that incarcerated Latinas are especially depicted as socially irrecuperable because they are not considered useful within the neoliberal labor market. This perception impacts how they are criminalized, which is not limited to incarceration but also extends to and affects Latina (im)migrants' everyday lives. Escobar also explores the relationship between the immigrant rights movement and the prison abolition movement, scrutinizing a variety of social institutions working on solutions to social problems that lead to imprisonment. Accessible to both academics and those in the justice and social service sectors, Escobar's book pushes readers to consider how, even in radical spaces, unequal power relations can be reproduced by the very entities that attempt to undo them.

Targeting Immigrants

Author: Jonathan Xavier Inda
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1405150130
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book is concerned with the government of “illegal” immigration since the passage of the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965, exploring how certain mentalities and intellectual machineries have rendered illegal immigrants as targets of government. Examines how various authorities have created knowledge about and constructed “illegal” immigration as an ethical problem. Analyzes the tactics that have been deployed to govern immigration, particularly at the US-Mexico border. Using an ethnographic approach, draws on primary source materials – including government publications, archival documents, newspapers, and popular magazines. Studies measures (e.g. Operation Gatekeeper and Operation Hold-the-Line) for reforming the conduct of “illegal” immigrants in order to forestall illicit border crossings. Frames the study of immigration within Foucauldian theories of governmentality. Highlights the role of numbers and statistics in constructing the “illegal” immigrant.