This paper explores the implications of the United States' declining place in the capitalist world-system for the recently achieved political accommodation between Chicano middle-class politicians and the Anglo business and political establishment in the Southwest. Two scenarios are discussed within the context of a possible future of economic stagnation. On the one hand, a renewal of the ethnic/class conflict and repression that characterized Anglo-Mexican relations in the decades before WWII, or conversely, enlightened leadership from the Anglo and Mexican American communities that works out mutually beneficial policies to prevent the growth of a Chicano underclass. The article concludes by arguing that the worst-case and best-case scenarios presented within, which remind us of the indeterminate or “open’ nature of the future, force us to keep our perspective: to make us realize that despite the advances of the last twenty years, despite the apparent climate of “integration,” that the struggle between inclusion and exclusion continues.
This paper supports the establishment of a Latino research center at Michigan State University. The authors argue that the rationale for such a center rests on the changing nature of the Midwestern economy and the challenges that it poses for the future of Latinos in this region. More specifically, the authors argue that given the relatively low educational attainment and the high drop out rates of Latinos, a future economy requiring greater skills is likely to result in serious social and economic problems for this population. Thus, a Latino center dedicated to policy-oriented research and outreach is urgently needed to develop policies and programs to help both Latino communities and individuals.
Joseph Spielberg (Ed.)
This occasional paper contains presentations and responses delivered by distinguished Latino scholars at the Institute’s first planning conference held on March 1989 at Michigan State University. The purpose of the conference and this paper is to delineate a meaningful agenda for policy-oriented research among Latinos in the Midwest that seeks to understand the impact of structural changes in the economy on this population.