This presentation was prepared for the 30th anniversary celebration of the Julian Samora Research Institute. The presentation responds to the theme of the conference: “Latinxs and the Renewal of U.S. Democracy.” Oboler challenges us in her speech to avoid visualizing democracy as a renewal and to envision the transformation of American Democracy by turning to both the history of Latinx movements and of alliance-building with other groups in the struggle to achieve inclusion and representation of all members of society. Oboler argues that the use of the word renewal paints a picture of a return to a time when U.S. democracy was not in a good place and, at times, goes backwards. Specifically, she discusses how other instances in American history paved the way for the current administration, providing examples of how the Reagan era influenced our current politics. She moves on to describe several instances in American history that have shaped the narrative of how America defines and views people of Latinx origin. The primary argument is that White supremacists are driving the current political climate. One way to combat the attendant ignorance and fear, she says, is to spread knowledge of the Latinx community and by working with other minority groups. To conclude, Oboler, urges us to think about new ways by which we can transform democracy through our scholarship and teaching by engaging with displaced members of the community and/or engaging our students more in social justice oriented conversations.
Lorenzo Roberto Almada
There are three phases to be considered when seeking to understand the development of a unique Latin American philosophy. These phases include: an oppositional perspective; a narrative space that is uniquely Latin American, and writing from the radical exteriority of Western European ideology. In each phase we find two separate methodological approaches: abstract epistemological, and concrete ontological. With each phase Latin American scholars have advanced to become leaders on the cutting edge of “global unification.” This essay considers each phase and methodology in seeking to understand Latin American philosophy moving forward toward international decolonization and pre-colonial rediscovery.
This paper analyzes the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, wherein it addressed ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims brought forth by a lawful immigrant. It goes on to examine ensuing applications of the Padilla decision by Federal Circuit Courts in United States v. Orocio and United States v. Chaidez. In Padilla v. Kentucky the Court held that legal counsel must advise immigrants facing legal charges of the risk of deportation. The Circuit Courts provided contradictory interpretations about whether or not the Padilla decision should be applied retroactively. The paper goes on to point out that most immigration matters are decided by immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). It further holds that since federal judges and state courts have little experience adjudicating immigration matters, the action of determining whether an attorney has rendered effective counsel concerning immigration matters become even more difficult. The paper contends that regardless of the various interpretations of the Padilla decision by the Circuit Courts, changes at the local, state, and Federal levels are needed to ensure that the Sixth Amendment rights of those with immigration statuses are protected.
Using data from the 2007–2009 Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) supplement of the Current Population Surveys (CPS), this study explores the relationship between poverty and the health of children from various racial/ethnic minority and immigrant families in the Midwest. Findings show that: (1) Racial/ethnic minority children experience poorer health than Non-Hispanic White children; (2) Increased poverty among children predicts poorer children’s health; and (3) Immigrant children have poorer health than native-born counterparts, and second-generation immigrant children have poorer health than first- and third-generation immigrant children. This study demonstrates the health disadvantages of children from racial/ethnic minority families faced with poverty in the Midwest. The gap in children’s health between Non-Hispanic White and minority children persists even after accounting for the effects of immigrant status, poverty, family structure, parental education, health insurance coverage, and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan residence. Improving the economic well-being of all racial/ethnic minority and immigrant families would improve children’s health.
Elinor R. Jordan
When formulating farm and immigration policy for the nation, it is vital that lawmakers consider the long-term consequences of the programs they put into place. The H-2A visa program has served to bring numerous temporary workers to the United States to work in agriculture, but at very high cost. This article chronicles the experiences of many farmworker advocates regarding a pattern of exclusion of U.S. workers by employers, who seemingly prefer H-2A workers. The article further argues that, particularly in states like Michigan, where a large percentage of seasonal farmworkers travel with their families, over-utilization of the H-2A program could undercut efforts to improve labor conditions and strengthen the fabric of farm communities.
Dionicio Nodin Valdes
A common thread in hegemonic popular and political culture and its scholarly circles proposes that Mexico and Mexicans are a racial menace to the White people of the United States. But this vision is not uncontested. A contrary thread has portrayed Mexican immigrants who cross the border into the U.S. Southwest as capable of assimilating into the American way of life and meritorious of citizenship, though such representations typically retain a Eurocentric assumption that Mexicans should and must understand the world through a White prism. In addition to the limitations of a Eurocentric bias in dominant popular thought, the author addresses two of its related geographic constrictions, namely the overwhelming association of Mexicans residing in the United States in the Southwest and the United States-Mexico border. The overwhelming focus on a corner of the nation is similarly evident in Chicana and Chicano counter narratives. This essay focuses on Michigan and the Midwest, and the border with Canada, which are also critical to understanding Chicana and Chicano experiences and Mexican-United States relations. First, the author examines moments in the history of the region prior to the arrival of Europeans to demonstrate the fallacy of popular assumptions that Mexicans are solely recent arrivals in the Midwest. The author then examines the region in eras following contact between Europeans and Native Americans to expose continued Mexican influence and its impact on ideas passing as knowledge in dominant popular culture.
M.T. Tatto, V. Lundstrom-Ndibongo, B.E. Newman, S.E. Nogle, L.K. Sarroub, & J.M. Weiler
The present report originated in a MSU policy analysis class taught during 1996. The professor and students agreed to construct a class that represented a grounded experience in policy analysis touching upon a current and relevant issue. We began exploring the policies surrounding the education of migrant children in Michigan. Our goal was to learn about the policies related to the of education of migrant workers' children and to develop an understanding of the issue's complexities. We knew our work would be limited by time, financial, and political constraints. These constraints limited our work to an exploratory inquiry supported by literature reviews and informational interviews with key individuals in selected Michigan sites. We chose this "invisible" policy issue for several reasons. Migrant education offered us the opportunity to examine current reform tendencies to provide access to quality education for all children, the preparation of teachers to support select populations, the organization of schools to accommodate these children in response to vague policy mandates, and power issues affecting the different constituencies and stakeholders. Thanks to the support of the Julian Samora Research Institute, the Michigan Department of Education, and various individuals, we held face-to-face interviews with policymakers, teachers, and migrant children and their families.
This study examined many alternate avenues for gathering information about the health conditions of migrant farmworkers. The author argues that the task of collecting information was arduous because many of the health delivery agencies do not report to the Michigan Department of Public Health. The federal government funds the migrant clinics, and this releases them from any state reporting and accountability. The study presents a synopsis of the health condition of migrant farmworkers in general, including poverty relationship to health problems. Among their health issues, the study cites HIV infection, and other urgent areas of concern (e.g., substance abuse, sexuality, mental health, physical health, and occupational health and safety, tuberculosis, health services, immunization records, child abuse and domestic violence, cigarette smoking, environmental pollution, usage of recreational drugs, nutrition, infectious diseases and vaccinations, dental needs, children with disabilities, lack of translators, and medical insurances and HMOs). The information collected should not only help predict migrant farmworker health needs for the future, but also provide some ideas for immediate program implementation. The study also questions the efficiency of the migrant health delivery model, especially when the clients are mostly transient and without local representation, leaving them vulnerable to mistreatments or abuse without any place to complain or request accountability.
Armando A. Arias, Jr.
The author suggests how one academic institution, California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) is planning for a distributed learning and distance education program utilizing the latest technologies and innovative pedagogy to meet the needs of all underrepresented and underserved students. The need for distributed learning and distance education programs is especially high for the Latino/a population of the Salinas Valley, where some of the poorest Latino populations in the nation reside. The university’s students, faculty, and staff represent a geographically and culturally diverse group of people whose richness is mirrored in CSUMB’s commitment to the establishment of a multilingual, multicultural, and intellectual community.
Linda M. Hunt
An earliery version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C. in November, 1997. Recent research designed to explain differences in health and illness among ethnic minorities often focuses on cultural influences on behavior and lifestyles, viewing individual behavioral choices as based on cultural beliefs and traditions. Commonly, ethnic culture is operationalized and measured as "level of acculturation," which is then correlated with various health outcomes. In this paper, the conceptual basis of "acculturation" in health research is examined. It is argued that the notion of culture is poorly articulated in this research, relying instead on "common-sense" ideas about the origins of valued and disvalued ideas and behaviors. As a result, acculturation health research is driven by a priori evaluative assumptions about the sources of rational and irrational behaviors. While failing to explicitly define ethnic and "mainstream" culture. ethnic culture is implicitly concieved as foreign, exotic, and antithetical to rationality; at the same time "mainstream" culture is viewed as its opposite. The model is rife with historical and conceptual difficulties. It is derived from folk wisdom about rationality and progress, which is galvanized in the ostensibly scientific construct of "acculturation."
Robert A. Ibarra
The advent of the internet and distant learning technology is transforming higher education rapidly. Over the last decade there has been a phenomenal growth of non-traditional institutions providing degree programs to career-track learners. For example, the 1993-94 Peterson's Guide listed only 93 "cyberschools." However, three years later, Peterson's 1997 Distance Learning Guide included over 760 “cyberschools.” With population growth rates projected to explode for many Latino populations in the U.S., what impact do such "virtual" institutions have on higher education and how does this affect ethnic diversity? Capping a 3-year national study of Latinos and Latinas in graduate education and beyond, the author further interviewed Latino students and faculty at Walden University, an accredited, distributed learning graduate school, and found cultural patterns that could radically change higher education. Attracting career-bound practitioner-scholars, Walden achieves high minority enrollments (around 37%) and significant diversity in doctoral production, unaided by either minority recruitment or retention programs. Despite the current state of Low Context (limited personal contact) learning technology, Walden generates a High Context (student-oriented, multimedia) learning-centered culture which fosters a very interactive Internet community that is reshaping traditional methods of graduate education. Findings comparing Walden University with traditional resident institutions suggest that differences in organizational cultures and context hold important clues for explaining patterns of attraction and rejection among ethnic groups in academia. These cultural patterns offer new strategies for reframing the current model for enhancing diversity and attracting Latinos to higher education.
Harry P. Pachon, Elsa E. Macias, &Paula Y. Bagasao
This paper presents pertinent access and equity issues in information technology, as well as barriers that are faced by minority and low-income communities and how they can be overcome. It is now widely accepted that the approaching new century is developing as an information-based, global society in which digital literacy will be a prerequisite for full participation. Access becomes an issue of social equity, since equal access to the technology and the skills to use it are increasingly necessary for economic success. The implications of inequality of access to fundamental digital resources means nothing less than risking the exclusion of disadvantaged groups from economic, social, educative, and political life. To determine how access to information technology is best achieved in the nation’s low-income urban areas, the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute launched the Digital Steppingstones initiative with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The objective of this 3-year study is to explore the role of advanced technologies in low-income and minority communities, and determine their effectiveness in providing access to technology and training, preparing community members for the workforce, and filling communities’ information needs. In this paper we discuss some key barriers to effective implementation of IT-related programs, including: the need to maintain dependable funding streams in order to develop and sustain programs and maintain current technologies; necessary on-going and comprehensive staff training; difficulties in maintaining consistent leadership and promoting information; and questions about the efficacy of technology in the classroom.
Jose Angel Gutierrez & Rebecca E. Deen
This article analyzes the election of Chicanas to public office in Texas since the Chicano Movement and discusses the factors that promote and impede their election and performance in office. Ethnographic interviews were used to gather data on the experiences of Chicana candidates for County Judge in Texas. These findings are set in the larger context of women in politics. While Chicanas have made gains in all local elective offices, some positions remain elusive and electoral parity has not been reached. In addition to electoral barriers, Chicanas face impediments to office holding, once they won the election. Gender discrimination is not the major factor in gaining public office, rather once in office the internal competition and conflict with male officeholders presents formidable obstacles for re-election and tenure.
Yolanda Rodríguez Ingle
This paper considers the underrepresentation of Latinos in the fields of information technology and academe, with a particular emphasis on Latinas. The concept of “tokenism” is presented as one structural explanation used to address situations in which persons of one social type (e.g., women) are in an extreme minority when they enter an occupation. This concept explains many difficulties women face as they enter traditionally male-dominated occupations. Improved recruitment and retention of Latinas, as well as access to mentoring are recommended as key to increasing representation of women in academe.
Since the Chicano/a cultural renaissance of the 1960's and 1970's, the Midwestern United States has emerged as a geographical reality in Chicano/a literature, sometimes merely as a common destination for Chicano/as seeking work, but more and more often as a site of vibrant Chicano/a communities. This paper examines the divergent perspectives and attitudes in this literature toward the Midwest, and toward Chicano/as and Mexicans who have made their homes there. The first section examines texts by Pat Mora, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, and Wendell Mayo, focusing on the ways in which these texts offer the Southwest as the true Chicano/a homeland and suggest that the experience of Chicano/as in the Midwest is one of exile and isolation. The second part of this paper discusses texts by Tomás Rivera, Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, and Hugo Mart°nez-Serros, and explores representations of transnational and heterogenous communities of Chicano/as and Mexicans in the Midwest. This analysis reveals the limitations of a conception of Aztlán narrowly associated with the Southwest, and suggests that the complexities of Chicano/a identity demand greater attention to the diversity of regions in which Chicano/as live and work.
This paper provides a century-long overview of U.S. immigration policy. Based on original research conducted at the Presidential libraries, the article explains the motivations behind the dramatic changes in U.S. immigration policy in 1965. This study provides support that, even today, the Congressional debate is propelled and sustained by the National Origins legislation of 1924, an immigration law that discriminated against immigrations through a quota system. Indeed, this article argues that despite various major and minor modifications over the last 33 years, U.S. immigration policy continues to be shaped by principles established in 1965.
Peter L. Stenberg
A debate is taking place in the country about the universal service provision of modern telecommunications services. The debate revolves around two questions. First, if many communities, and significant segments of the population, are not able to participate fully in the modern Information Age will it result in their impoverishment? Second, if there is too great a policy and regulatory intrusion in the market place will that cause significant misallocation of resources causing the entire society to be impoverished? It is a debate with a mixture of facts and some conjecture. The purpose here is to bring forth the basic telecommunication facts, as we currently know them, relative to rural and Latino communities.
In the Summer of 1969, Refugio Rochín volunteered with the Michigan Educational Opportunity Program, a derivative of the federally-funded programs of the Office of Educational Opportunity. This paper is a compilation of his field notes from visiting the Heifetz Camp located south of Eaton Rapids. Most of the seasonal migrant farmworkers came from the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas to work cucumbers and were attracted by the higher wages in Michigan. Through a connection with Uvaldo Patiño, Rochín is able to assist farmworkers in obtaining social services.
When he wrote the passage above to his wife, Josefa Moreno, Pablo de la Guerra probably did not expect that more than a century later historians would be mulling over the more personal and earthly realities of his much celebrated public life. A politician whose career spanned the Mexican and Euroamerican periods in Alta, Calif., he is the subject of a number of articles and one dissertation. Most of these studies deal with his civic contributions and those of the de la Guerra family. Indeed, de la Guerra’s letters to Josefa Moreno de la Guerra provide a rare window through which one can explore the microcosm of family, gender, and generational relations within the context of political, economic, and cultural turbulence, which followed the American conquest and annexation of California. Because of his role as a statesman, Pablo was an absentee husband, father, and businessman who heavily relied on Josefa in order to complete his socially constructed and expected duties as a patriarch.
Through discussion of the varying social constructions of race in the United States and various Latin American nations, this article argues that racism resembles bacteria in that, like bacteria, racism includes variants with unusual traits which have the ability to withstand an antibiotic attack on a microbe. Thus, the definition of race has changed much faster than academicians have defined it. It is resistant to social antibiotics. Popular culture, media and right-wing think tanks are redefining race. Much of the literature has concentrated on the black experience, but while Latinos and blacks share inequality, the experiences are different. The race question cannot be applied to Latinos solely by using the American paradigm. Latin American and Mexican history and the literature on race must be incorporated.
The paper analyzes the biases in academe concerning what is and is not “legitimate” and “rigorous” scholarship. It examines how these biases interact with decision-making power in placing relative newcomers into a traditional ascribed secondary role. The author uses data from the 1984 and 1987 National Latino faculty Survey. Latino scholars believe in the role of the scientific and scholarly enterprise at levels as high as or higher than non-minority professors. Latinos also tend to believe at a much higher rate that personal values play a central role in one’s research. Two out of five Chicano and Puerto Rican professors believe that their research is seen as academically inferior and illegitimate. This perception is stronger in higher prestige universities compared to those with lesser prestige. Chicanos and Puerto Ricans, and probably other minority group scholars, are more involved in ethnic group-based research and are more likely to teach courses on or related to their own racial/ethnic group. Disparities in the number of racial/ethnic minorty and dominant group scholars on U.S. campuses may be one of the central, if not the central, factors for the “channeling” and “segmenting” of certain racial/ethnic academics within universities.
This paper addresses the low and stagnant number of “new” Chicano and other U.S.-based Latino doctorates in anthropology and some of the reasons behind this poor showing. The paper identifies impediments to increasing the number of Latino anthropology doctorates, including low numbers of Latinos entering undergraduate programs, the absence of Latino populations in course curricula, and the small number of Latino faculty or non-Latino faculty who specialize in U.S.-based Latino populations. An approach to the study of anthropology that makes the student an active participant in her/his training is presented as a possible solution to the low number of Latino anthropologists. This effective method of preparing prospective anthropologists is a key component of the Palerm School of Anthropology in Mexico. This school, now in California, has produced many doctorates in Mexico and an increasing number of Latino and non-Latino Ph.D.’s in the U.S.
Carlos Lopez, a Cuban American painter, lived the majority of his life in Michigan. He is one of the early Latino painters who were active in the first half of the twentieth century. Despite working in Detroit and Ann Arbor for two decades, Lopez is rarely included in the historical narrative. Lopez made important contributions to American mural art, including being one of the few artists in Michigan to receive a federal mural commission. This report provides an important historical narrative that is lacking in art, Michigan, and U.S. histories.
J. Manuel Casas, Michelle Wood, María J. Alvarez, & Michael J. Furlong
The comparability of risk factors, clinical outcomes, and services were examined with regard to Hispanic and non-Hispanic White youths participating in a managed system of care for youths experiencing emotional and/or behavioral disturbances for at least six months. Intra- and inter-group differences were documented in the context of two distinct outcome groups: (1) Improvers - whose behavioral indices were rated within the clinical range at intake and then improved (to below the clinical range) aft er six months in the system of care; and (2) "Deprovers" - whose behavioral indices were rated below clinical range at intake and then deteriorated (to within clinical range) aft er six months in the system of care. The services delivered to the youths in these outcome groups by ethnicity are presented. The impact that various types of services may have had on the youths’ internalizing and/or externalizing problems is discussed. Differences between the services received by the ethnic groups may provide evidence about what works in a system of care and how to serve these youths in a more culturally competent manner.
George A. Martinez
Critical race theorists have sought to provide counter accounts of social reality. In particular, they have sought to create new, oppositionist accounts of race. In this regard, critical race theory has evolved into several projects. One project has sought to uncover how law is a constitutive element of race itself. Put another way, this project has sought to identify how law constructed race. Another important project has focused on the way “Whiteness” functions as a social organizing principle. Thus, critical theorists have begun to examine how the privilege of being White works in our society.