What's a good book on the lives of Hispanic immigrants?
September 17, 2010 11:05 AM   Subscribe

What's a good book on the status of Hispanics in America?

Preferably something that provides a modern history of immigration to America, an examination of the socioeconomic status of immigrants, and some specific information on day laborers.
posted by tomtheblackbear to Society & Culture (9 answers total)
You'll have to define the group that you want to study more specifically. "Hispanic" is a term that was invented in the 1970's to lump several different groups that all descend from Spanish speaking peoples into a marketable group. Do you want to know more about Central Americans? Mexicans? Cubans? Chicanos? The answers to your question are different for each group.
posted by pickypicky at 11:23 AM on September 17, 2010

Pickypicky: I'm going to be working with "Hispanics", not Hondurans, or Mexicans, or Mayans, but all of the above. A specialized book on one particular "group" would not help me.
posted by tomtheblackbear at 11:31 AM on September 17, 2010

I agree with pickypicky, you cant define hispanics all in one lump, for example puerto ricans are technically hispanics, yet they have US citizenship, Mexicans pattern of migrations are totally different from those of Central americans or Dominicans.
posted by The1andonly at 11:34 AM on September 17, 2010

Tomtheblackbear: you will not be working with "hispanics." "Hispanics" do not technically exist, except as diverse groups of people, ie. Hondurans, Mexicans, or Mayans who consent for your convenience to be lumped together as a single group.
posted by pickypicky at 11:42 AM on September 17, 2010

The1andonly: I'm not trying to define Hispanics. I want an overview of Hispanic immigration to the US. I'm also not interested in patterns of migration. You can walk into a bookstore and buy books on European history, African American history, etc. African Americans and Europeans also aren't homogeneous entities, but these books do exist. Do you have a recommendation for me?

pickypicky: You are derailing an Askme. This isn't the forum to discuss whether Hispanics exist, or if that categorization is an artificial construct. I'm sure you could find intellectuals in sub-Saharan Africa with quibbles on the use of the word "Caucasian", but as one, I really couldn't care less. I'd imagine the same would be true of Hispanics. Do you have a book recommendation?
posted by tomtheblackbear at 11:50 AM on September 17, 2010

My mother-in-law recently asked me to digitize an old slideshow (from the '70s I think) called Mexicanos Minnesotanos. If I remember right it's about 90 minutes long, covers immigration, migrant workers, children, adults, higher education, etc (mom-in-law is in it because she was the first Chicana to graduate from the University she attended). Is this something you would be interested in? It's very specific to Minnesota, but if you'd like you can memail me and I can find a way to get the video to you.

I found it to be quite dry, but interesting from a sociological perspective.
posted by geekchic at 12:11 PM on September 17, 2010

I found Ilan Stevens and Lalo's Latino USA very helpful with your first two requirements (but there's nothing about day laborers). Also has good definitions of Latino, Hispanic, Chicano, etc.
posted by Rash at 12:32 PM on September 17, 2010

Gosh yeah, the question is pretty straightforward. I am Peruvian, and also Hispanic. I definitely have something more in common with Hondurans, Mexicans, etc than with Europeans, Asians or Africans. for one, we're mostly mixed in race, we were colonized by the same country, we speak the same languages, have similar traditional background (native americans) and most of us have the same religion, and somewhat similar political developments in recent history.

Here you have some numerical info.

Some historical background
posted by Tarumba at 2:11 PM on September 17, 2010

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