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Changing Race: Latinos, the Census and the History of Ethnicity (Critical America Series) Paperback – July 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0814775479 ISBN-10: 0814775470 Edition: First Printing

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Product Details

  • Series: Critical America Series
  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press; First Printing edition (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814775470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814775479
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A timely addition. . . the author offers a competent, nontechnical overview of the issues concerning how our largest minority fits into this nation's bipolar black-white racial paradigm. . . . Rodriguez examines how Lationos may be changing that long-dominant paradigm."

-American Journal of Sociology,

"A timely work...Rodriguez does make a convincing argument that Latino self-identity is fluid and constantly changing."

-Journal of American Ethnic History,

"Rodriquez'a account is a solid introduction to the dynamic complexity of American ethnic life."

-Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol. 26, No. 2,

"Much of the current dialogue on race does not sufficiently interrogate its meaning. In marked contrast, Clara E. Rodriguez offers a stunning example of racial formation by illustrating how Latino identities are formed and transformed in dynamic engagement with state definitions. She reveals the gap between state imposed categories and group self-definition; the dramatic distinctions between U.S. and Latin American concepts of race; and the political claims advanced through the Census. Best of all, she provides a rich sense of how individuals constantly negotiate the prevailing terrain of racial meanings."

-Michael Omi,University of California, Berkeley

About the Author

Clara E. Rodriguez is Professor of Sociology at Fordham University's College at Lincoln Center. She is the author of numerous books and has been Visiting Professor at Columbia University, MIT, and Yale University. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation and a Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. She was previously the Dean of Fordham University's College of Liberal Studies.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on June 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Currently, the Federal government recognizes White, Black, American Indian, Asian, and Pacific Islanders as race groups, and Hispanic as an ethnic group. If the Arab Institute has it's way, Arabs may soon become separate group. CHANGING RACE by Clara Rodriguez is a good summary of materials prepared by U.S. Census Bureau analysts as they have struggled to operationally define and measure population subgroups that are in essence social constructs.
Rodriguez' book covers the history of measuring "race" in the United States from the first census in 1790 to the 1990 census 200 years later. Most of her book focuses on the past 25 years when race issues have been very salient. During this period, Census Bureau analysts have operationalized criteria established in regulations written by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Executive Branch of the Federal government (i.e. the White House). OMB is charged with recognizing the race and ethnic categories referred to in legislation written by the U.S. Congress, official representatives of the American people who presumably pass laws that reflect the people's interests and desires.

One might say there's plenty of slip between cup and lip, and like most things done in Washington, what actually gets done at the field level (the Census Bureau) may not be what the American people intended. However, like other government field agencies, the Census Bureau, takes it on the chin when members of the public complain. Rodriguez book attempts to describe what happens at the field level--who complains and Federal responses to those complaints.
Rodriguez book does not adequately address the issue of what happens to blanks--many Americans can't or won't respond to race and ethnic questions.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hope G. Marshall on February 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Book arrived sooner than expected shipment date, and in condition reported. Had really useful highlighting throughout! Thanks!
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