Mexican Americans Across Generations

Mexican Americans Across Generations investigates racial identity and assimilation in three-generation Mexican American families living in California.

Mexican Americans Across Generations

While newly arrived immigrants are often the focus of public concern and debate, many Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans have resided in the United States for generations. Latinos are the largest and fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, and their racial identities change with each generation. While the attainment of education and middle class occupations signals a decline in cultural attachment for some, socioeconomic mobility is not a cultural death-knell, as others are highly ethnically identified. There are a variety of ways that middle class Mexican Americans relate to their ethnic heritage, and racialization despite assimilation among a segment of the second and third generations reveals the continuing role of race even among the U.S.-born. Mexican Americans Across Generations investigates racial identity and assimilation in three-generation Mexican American families living in California. Through rich interviews with three generations of middle class Mexican American families, Vasquez focuses on the family as a key site for racial and gender identity formation, knowledge transmission, and incorporation processes, exploring how the racial identities of Mexican Americans both change and persist generationally in families. She illustrates how gender, physical appearance, parental teaching, historical era and discrimination influence Mexican Americans’ racial identity and incorporation patterns, ultimately arguing that neither racial identity nor assimilation are straightforward progressions but, instead, develop unevenly and are influenced by family, society, and historical social movements.

Mestizo in America

This book addresses that question through a unique blend of quantitative data and firsthand interviews with third-plus-generation Mexican Americans.

Mestizo in America

How much does ethnicity matter to Mexican Americans today, when many marry outside their culture and some can’t even stomach menudo? This book addresses that question through a unique blend of quantitative data and firsthand interviews with third-plus-generation Mexican Americans. Latinos are being woven into the fabric of American life, to be sure, but in a way quite distinct from ethnic groups that have come from other parts of the world. By focusing on individuals’ feelings regarding acculturation, work experience, and ethnic identity—and incorporating Mexican-Anglo intermarriage statistics—Thomas Macias compares the successes and hardships of Mexican immigrants with those of previous European arrivals. He describes how continual immigration, the growth of the Latino population, and the Chicano Movement have been important factors in shaping the experience of Mexican Americans, and he argues that Mexican American identity is often not merely an “ethnic option” but a necessary response to stereotyping and interactions with Anglo society.Talking with fifty third-plus generation Mexican Americans from Phoenix and San Jose—representative of the seven million nationally with at least one immigrant grandparent—he shows how people utilize such cultural resources as religion, spoken Spanish, and cross-national encounters to reinforce Mexican ethnicity in their daily lives. He then demonstrates that, although social integration for Mexican Americans shares many elements with that of European Americans, forces related to ethnic concentration, social inequality, and identity politics combine to make ethnicity for Mexican Americans more fixed across generations. Enhancing research already available on first- and second-generation Mexican Americans, Macias’s study also complements research done on other third-plus-generation ethnic groups and provides the empirical data needed to understand the commonalities and differences between them. His work plumbs the changing meaning of mestizaje in the Americas over five centuries and has much to teach us about the long-term assimilation and prospects of Mexican-origin people in the United States.

Generations of Exclusion

In many domains, however, the Mexican American story doesn't fit with traditional models of assimilation.

Generations of Exclusion

Foreword by Joan W. Moore When boxes of original files from a 1965 survey of Mexican Americans were discovered behind a dusty bookshelf at UCLA, sociologists Edward Telles and Vilma Ortiz recognized a unique opportunity to examine how the Mexican American experience has evolved over the past four decades. Telles and Ortiz located and re-interviewed most of the original respondents and many of their children. Then, they combined the findings of both studies to construct a thirty-five year analysis of Mexican American integration into American society. Generations of Exclusion is the result of this extraordinary project. Generations of Exclusion measures Mexican American integration across a wide number of dimensions: education, English and Spanish language use, socioeconomic status, intermarriage, residential segregation, ethnic identity, and political participation. The study contains some encouraging findings, but many more that are troubling. Linguistically, Mexican Americans assimilate into mainstream America quite well—by the second generation, nearly all Mexican Americans achieve English proficiency. In many domains, however, the Mexican American story doesn't fit with traditional models of assimilation. The majority of fourth generation Mexican Americans continue to live in Hispanic neighborhoods, marry other Hispanics, and think of themselves as Mexican. And while Mexican Americans make financial strides from the first to the second generation, economic progress halts at the second generation, and poverty rates remain high for later generations. Similarly, educational attainment peaks among second generation children of immigrants, but declines for the third and fourth generations. Telles and Ortiz identify institutional barriers as a major source of Mexican American disadvantage. Chronic under-funding in school systems predominately serving Mexican Americans severely restrains progress. Persistent discrimination, punitive immigration policies, and reliance on cheap Mexican labor in the southwestern states all make integration more difficult. The authors call for providing Mexican American children with the educational opportunities that European immigrants in previous generations enjoyed. The Mexican American trajectory is distinct—but so is the extent to which this group has been excluded from the American mainstream. Most immigration literature today focuses either on the immediate impact of immigration or what is happening to the children of newcomers to this country. Generations of Exclusion shows what has happened to Mexican Americans over four decades. In opening this window onto the past and linking it to recent outcomes, Telles and Ortiz provide a troubling glimpse of what other new immigrant groups may experience in the future.

Generational Differences Among Mexican Americans in Nutrition Obesity and Health Outcomes

This dissertation examines the health of Mexican-Americans across generations in the United States and addresses some of the questions involving the Latino health paradox, that is, how poor immigrants could report better health than groups ...

Generational Differences Among Mexican Americans in Nutrition  Obesity  and Health Outcomes

This dissertation examines the health of Mexican-Americans across generations in the United States and addresses some of the questions involving the Latino health paradox, that is, how poor immigrants could report better health than groups that have been in the United States for longer periods. Using data from Add Health, the research shows that obesity increases across generations. It examines obesity, health status and nutrition. Compared with the third-plus generation, the children of immigrants are somewhat more likely to be obese as children but less likely to be obese as adults. The higher the education of the parents, the lower the level of obesity. In terms of nutrition, the first generation eats the most fruits and vegetables, although their consumption is unrelated to obesity. The second generation is the most likely to eat fast food, frequent consumption of which doubles the odds of obesity by adulthood. Family closeness lowers the odds of obesity. All in all, the results show the complexity of the relationships between time in the United States (whether measured as an actual temporal interval or as family generations) and health patterns within immigrant groups.

Mexican Americans and the U S Economy

Furthermore , respondents are asked to list the place of birth of their parents , which makes it possible to gauge the economic mobility of Mexican Americans across generations . The CPS is also useful because it covers a wide variety ...

Mexican Americans and the U S  Economy

As workers and consumers, Mexican Americans are a viableÑand valuableÑpart of the broad U.S. economy. Despite that many are hindered by low education (and consequently low wages) and limited opportunities, they have continuously struggled for, and continue to seek, better days and the opportunity to realize their share of the American dream. This book examines the problems that Mexican Americans have experienced in attaining economic parity with non-Hispanic whites. It examines four major topics of particular concern to the economic status of the Mexican American community: - immigration, reviewing the Bracero Program, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, legislation from the 1990s, and the problems faced by immigrants today - education, stressing the importance of economic incentives to invest in education - wealth and poverty, evaluating opportunities and roadblocks as Mexican Americans aspire to middle-class standards of living - the labor market, covering such topics as employment, income, and discrimination. Arturo Gonz‡lez has drawn on recent census data to present for the first time in one volume a detailed economic analysis of three generations of Mexican Americans. These statistics reveal a people who are steadily improving economically and provide evidence that stereotypes of Mexican Americans are outdated or erroneous. Mexican Americans and the U.S. Economy shows that economics is an important aspect of the Mexican American experience. The book helps broaden students' understanding of the communityÕs ongoing struggle, putting the quest for buenos d’as in clearer perspective.

Citizens But Not Americans

And Tomás Jiménez's Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity (2010) studies integration among “later-generation” or “third and subsequent generationMexican Americans who trace their family settlement in the ...

Citizens But Not Americans

Race and Belonging Among Latino Millennials -- Latinos and the Racial Politics of Place and Space -- Latinos as an Ethnorace -- Latinos as a Racial Middle -- Latinos as "Real" Americans -- Rethinking Race and Belonging among Latino Millennials

Marriage Vows and Racial Choices

This book pursues questions about the role of marriage and family dynamics in racial-ethnic identity that arose from my first book, Mexican Americans Across Generations. That book explored the transmission and transformation of ...

Marriage Vows and Racial Choices

Choosing whom to marry involves more than emotion, as racial politics, cultural mores, and local demographics all shape romantic choices. In Marriage Vows and Racial Choices, sociologist Jessica Vasquez-Tokos explores the decisions of Latinos who marry either within or outside of their racial and ethnic groups. Drawing from in-depth interviews with nearly 50 couples, she examines their marital choices and how these unions influence their identities as Americans. Vasquez-Tokos finds that their experiences in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood shape their perceptions of race, which in turn influence their romantic expectations. Most Latinos marry other Latinos, but those who intermarry tend to marry whites. She finds that some Latina women who had domineering fathers assumed that most Latino men shared this trait and gravitated toward white men who differed from their fathers. Other Latina respondents who married white men fused ideas of race and class and perceived whites as higher status and considered themselves to be “marrying up.” Latinos who married non-Latino minorities—African Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans—often sought out non-white partners because they shared similar experiences of racial marginalization. Latinos who married Latinos of a different national origin expressed a desire for shared cultural commonalities with their partners, but—like those who married whites—often associated their own national-origin groups with oppressive gender roles. Vasquez-Tokos also investigates how racial and cultural identities are maintained or altered for the respondents’ children. Within Latino-white marriages, biculturalism—in contrast with Latinos adopting a white “American” identity—is likely to emerge. For instance, white women who married Latino men often embraced aspects of Latino culture and passed it along to their children. Yet, for these children, upholding Latino cultural ties depended on their proximity to other Latinos, particularly extended family members. Both location and family relationships shape how parents and children from interracial families understand themselves culturally. As interracial marriages become more common, Marriage Vows and Racial Choices shows how race, gender, and class influence our marital choices and personal lives.

Quality of Urban Life

The findings suggest differential patterning across generation for the two groups (see Table 2). ... More third/later-generation Mexican Americans report high stress (59%) compared to third/later-generation Japanese Americans (33%, ...

Quality of Urban Life


Hispanics in the American West

... positive appraisal of the educational outcomes of the Hispanic population of the West (and nationwide). Gonzalez's research traces educational outcome of Mexican Americans across generations, rather than assessing the entire group ...

Hispanics in the American West

Looks at the history of Hispanic peoples in the American West from the period of Spanish colonization. This work portrays the daily lives, struggles, and triumphs of Spanish-speaking peoples from the arrival of Spanish conquistadors. It highlights moments such as the Mexican-American War, the coming of the railroad, World War II, and others.

Latinas os in the United States

National estimates show the prevalence of obesity ( among Mexican Americans ) to be comparable to that of non - Hispanic ... These data also reveal dramatic increases in obesity among Latinos with each generation in the United States ...

Latinas os in the United States

The Latina/o population in the United States has become the largest minority group in the nation. Latinas/os are a mosaic of people, representing different nationalities and religions as well as different levels of education and income. This edited volume uses a multidisciplinary approach to document how Latinas and Latinos have changed and continue to change the face of America. It also includes critical methodological and theoretical information related to the study of the Latino/a population in the United States.

Mexican Immigration to the United States

Viewing the data in this way, however, does give a more substantial role for intergenerational wage assimilation due to the increasing educational attainment of Mexican Americans across generations. So, for example, in the 1971–1980 ...

Mexican Immigration to the United States

From debates on Capitol Hill to the popular media, Mexican immigrants are the subject of widespread controversy. By 2003, their growing numbers accounted for 28.3 percent of all foreign-born inhabitants of the United States. Mexican Immigration to the United States analyzes the astonishing economic impact of this historically unprecedented exodus. Why do Mexican immigrants gain citizenship and employment at a slower rate than non-Mexicans? Does their migration to the U.S. adversely affect the working conditions of lower-skilled workers already residing there? And how rapid is the intergenerational mobility among Mexican immigrant families? This authoritative volume provides a historical context for Mexican immigration to the U.S. and reports new findings on an immigrant influx whose size and character will force us to rethink economic policy for decades to come. Mexican Immigration to the United States will be necessary reading for anyone concerned about social conditions and economic opportunities in both countries.

Across Generations

As Peggy Levitt has noted, transnational ties differ greatly in their organization and significance across immigrant groups.4 ... During these trips, the second-generation Mexican Americans participated in the community life there, ...

Across Generations

Immigrants and their American-born children represent about one quarter of the United States population. Drawing on rich, in-depth ethnographic research, the fascinating case studies in Across Generations examine the intricacies of relations between the generations in a broad range of immigrant groups—from Latin America, Asia, the Caribbean, and Africa—and give a sense of what everyday life is like in immigrant families. Moving beyond the cliché of the children of immigrants engaging in pitched battles against tradition-bound parents from the old country, these vivid essays offer a nuanced view that brings out the ties that bind the generations as well as the tensions that divide them. Tackling key issues like parental discipline, marriage choices, educational and occupational expectations, legal status, and transnational family ties, Across Generations brings crucial insights to our understanding of the United States as a nation of immigrants. Contributors: Leisy Abrego, JoAnn D’Alisera, Joanna Dreby, Yen Le Espiritu, Greta Gilbertson, Nazli Kibria, Cecilia Menjívar, Jennifer E. Sykes, Mary C. Waters, and Min Zhou.

Race Migration and Identity

The paradoxes of generations for Mexican Americans A first step in assessing the situation of people of Mexican descent ... Comparing Mexican Americans across generations without accounting for cohort misses important intragenerational ...

Race  Migration and Identity

The chapters in this collection cover diverse aspects of the changing meanings and boundaries of race, migration and identity in the contemporary United States. The situation in the USA has been the subject of intense policy and political debate over the past decades and the papers in this volume provide an important insight from a wide range of analytical perspectives. They provide an insight into the changing dynamics of race and migration in the contemporary environment, combining conceptual analysis with original empirical research. The concerns of this volume address global questions of relevance as well as those specific to the USA. This book was originally published as a special issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Durable Ethnicity

Mexican Americans and the American Nation: A Response to Professor Huntington. ... “Phenotypic Discrimination and Income Differences among Mexican Americans. ... Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race.

Durable Ethnicity

"Despite the common perception that most persons of Mexican origin in the U.S are undocumented immigrants or the young children of immigrants, the majority are citizens and have been living in the U.S. for three or more generations. This group initially makes strides on education, English language use, socioeconomic status, intermarriage, residential segregation, and political participation, but progress halts at the second generation as poverty rates remain high, educational attainment declines for the third and fourth generations, and ethnic identity remains generally strong. In these ways, the experience of Mexican Americans differs considerably from previous waves of white European immigrants that were incorporated and assimilated fully into the mainstream within two or three generations. This book examines what ethnicity means and how it is negotiated in the lives of multiple generations of Mexican Americans. Rooted in a large-scale longitudinal and representative survey of 1,500 Mexican Americans living in the West across 35 years, Telles and Sue draw on 72 in-depth interviews to examine individual ethnic strategies and demonstrate that integration is often a process that varies by individual rather than a one-way movement. They detail the myriad ways Mexican Americans understand themselves in relation to their ethnicity, how ethnic identity is often consequential rather than symbolic or optional, that ethnic identity and national identity often co-exist, the meaning of speaking or not speaking Spanish, and their attitudes towards immigration. Telles and Sue are able to show how, when, and why ethnicity matters or does not for multiple generations of Mexican Americans and argue their experiences lie somewhere between Mexican and American."--

Red and Yellow Black and Brown

Jessica M. Vasquez, “Gender across Family Generations: Change in Mexican American Masculinities and Femininities,” Identities 21.5 (2014): 532–550. Julie A. Dowling, Mexican Americans and the Question of Race (Austin: University of ...

Red and Yellow  Black and Brown

Red and Yellow, Black and Brown gathers together life stories and analysis by twelve contributors who express and seek to understand the often very different dynamics that exist for mixed race people who are not part white. The chapters focus on the social, psychological, and political situations of mixed race people who have links to two or more peoples of color— Chinese and Mexican, Asian and Black, Native American and African American, South Asian and Filipino, Black and Latino/a and so on. Red and Yellow, Black and Brown addresses questions surrounding the meanings and communication of racial identities in dual or multiple minority situations and the editors highlight the theoretical implications of this fresh approach to racial studies.

Negotiating Feminisms

“Grandparent-Grandchild Interaction in a Mexican American Group.” Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 5 (1983): ... Vasquez, Jessica M. “Gender Across Family Generations: Change in Mexican American Masculinities and Femininities.

Negotiating Feminisms

Negotiating Feminisms examines intergenerational feminism in Chicanx family life. It analyses literary representations of the ways that Chicanas negotiate feminisms in the family across generations, through the maintenance, contestation, and adaptation of traditional gender roles. Using an original theoretical lens of negotiation to read the works of Ana Castillo and Sandra Cisneros, this book unpacks intergenerational resistance to patriarchal oppression. This book shows how the works of Cisneros and Castillo articulate a politics of negotiation that critiques the gendered ideologies and roles of the family. In doing so, the book’s discussion not only engages with literary representations but also connects these representations to the contextual experience of Chicanx family life. This book calls for a rethinking of women characters beyond limited, and limiting, familial roles and uses the framework of feminist negotiation as a means to explore the empowering possibilities of intergenerational female relationships.

Hispanics and the Future of America

Among Mexican Americans, the generational pattern of endogamy is similar to, albeit stronger than, that observed for marriages—declining percentages in endogamous unions across generations. In addition, exogamous unions involving ...

Hispanics and the Future of America

Hispanics and the Future of America presents details of the complex story of a population that varies in many dimensions, including national origin, immigration status, and generation. The papers in this volume draw on a wide variety of data sources to describe the contours of this population, from the perspectives of history, demography, geography, education, family, employment, economic well-being, health, and political engagement. They provide a rich source of information for researchers, policy makers, and others who want to better understand the fast-growing and diverse population that we call “Hispanic.†The current period is a critical one for getting a better understanding of how Hispanics are being shaped by the U.S. experience. This will, in turn, affect the United States and the contours of the Hispanic future remain uncertain. The uncertainties include such issues as whether Hispanics, especially immigrants, improve their educational attainment and fluency in English and thereby improve their economic position; whether growing numbers of foreign-born Hispanics become citizens and achieve empowerment at the ballot box and through elected office; whether impending health problems are successfully averted; and whether Hispanics' geographic dispersal accelerates their spatial and social integration. The papers in this volume provide invaluable information to explore these issues.

Migrant Letters

Mexican Americans across generations: Immigrant families, racial realities. New York and London: New York University. Venegas, M. T. (2012). Letters home: Mexican exile correspondence from Los Angeles, 1927–1932.

Migrant Letters

The migrant letter, whether written by family members, lovers, friends, or others, is a document that continues to attract the attention of scholars and general readers alike. What is it about migrant letters that fascinates us? Is it nostalgia for a distant, yet desired past? Is it the consequence of the eclipse of letter-writing in an age of digital communication technologies? Or is it about the parallels between transnational experiences in previous mass migrations and in the current globalized world, and the centrality of interpersonal relations, mobility, and communication, then and now? Influenced by methodologies from diverse disciplines, the study of migrant letters has developed in myriad directions. Scholars have examined migrant letters through such lenses as identity and self-making, family relations, gender, and emotions. This volume contributes to this discussion by exploring the connection between the practice of letter writing and the emotional, economic, familial, and gendered experiences of men and women separated by migration. It combines theoretical and empirical discussions which illuminate a variety of historical experiences of migrants who built transnational lives as they moved across Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the United States. This volume was originally published as a special issue of The History of Family.

The Integration of Immigrants into American Society

SOCIOECONOMIC DIMENSIONS OF IMMIGRANT INTEGRATION 261 cent of third generation Mexican American children do not self-identify as ... There is substantial historical evidence of third generation stagnation among Mexican Americans.

The Integration of Immigrants into American Society

The United States prides itself on being a nation of immigrants, and the country has a long history of successfully absorbing people from across the globe. The integration of immigrants and their children contributes to our economic vitality and our vibrant and ever changing culture. We have offered opportunities to immigrants and their children to better themselves and to be fully incorporated into our society and in exchange immigrants have become Americans - embracing an American identity and citizenship, protecting our country through service in our military, fostering technological innovation, harvesting its crops, and enriching everything from the nation's cuisine to its universities, music, and art. Today, the 41 million immigrants in the United States represent 13.1 percent of the U.S. population. The U.S.-born children of immigrants, the second generation, represent another 37.1 million people, or 12 percent of the population. Thus, together the first and second generations account for one out of four members of the U.S. population. Whether they are successfully integrating is therefore a pressing and important question. Are new immigrants and their children being well integrated into American society, within and across generations? Do current policies and practices facilitate their integration? How is American society being transformed by the millions of immigrants who have arrived in recent decades? To answer these questions, this new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine summarizes what we know about how immigrants and their descendants are integrating into American society in a range of areas such as education, occupations, health, and language.

Across Borders Across Generations

Across Borders  Across Generations

This dissertation investigates how racial identities of Mexican Americans both change and persist inter-generationally within families. Using purposive and snowball sampling, I interviewed three-generation middle class Mexican American families in California. I conducted in-depth interviews with sixty-seven members from twenty-nine three-generation families (Mexican immigrant grandparents and their children and grandchildren born in the U.S.). Two questions inspire this inquiry. First, what are the families' trajectories of racial identification and incorporation across the three generations? Second, what familial and social forces influence each generation's racial identity formation?