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Reimagining the Latinx Experience in America: Edward Telles, Durable Ethnicity

 Thursday, April 15 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

 Virtual Event

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Mexican Americans are unique in the panoply of American ethno-racial groups in that they are the descendants of the largest and longest lasting immigration stream in US history. Today, there are approximately 24 million Americans of Mexican descent living in the United States, many of whose families have been in the US for several generations. In Durable Ethnicity, Edward Telles and Christina A. Sue examine the meanings behind being both American and ethnically Mexican for contemporary Mexican Americans. Rooted in a large-scale longitudinal and representative survey of Mexican Americans living in San Antonio and Los Angeles across 35 years, Telles and Sue draw on 70 in-depth interviews and over 1,500 surveys to examine how Mexicans Americans construct their identities and attitudes related to ethnicity, nationality, language, and immigration. In doing so, they highlight the primacy of their American identities and variation in their ethnic identities, showing that their experiences range on a continuum from symbolic to consequential ethnicity, even into the fourth generation. Durable Ethnicity offers a comprehensive exploration into how, when, and why ethnicity matters for multiple generations of Mexican Americans, arguing that their experiences are influenced by an ethnic core, a set of structural and institutional forces that promote and sustain ethnicity.

Edward Telles is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. His most recent book is Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race and Color in Latin America, based on the multinational and multidisciplinary Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA), which he directed. He also wrote Race in Another America, 2004, which won the Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association, the Otis Dudley Duncan Award for the best book in Social Demography and several other awards; Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race, 2008 with Ortiz, also won the Duncan Award, as well as the Best Book Award from the Pacific Sociological Association.

Christina A. Sue is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research is in the areas of comparative race/ethnicity, race mixture/multiracialism, Latino/a integration, immigration, and gender, with a regional focus on Latin America and the United States. In 2013 she published Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico (Oxford University Press) which examines how national ideologies in Mexico influence Mexicans’ understandings of racism, race mixture, and blackness.

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