Thursday, April 28, 2011
A new feature discussing the illusion of race generally, and specifically as it pertains the US government’s Latino-Hispanic ethnic category, has just been published on www.migrationinformation.org, and I thought it would be of value to you and your readers. In Pigments of Our Imagination: The Racialization of the Hispanic-Latino Category, Rubén Rumbaut considers the following questions:
• When and for what purpose was the Latino-Hispanic category first created?
• How do people classified as Latinos or Hispanics fit into US society’s racial frame today?
• Are Hispanics a "race" or, more precisely, a racialized category?
• Is there a Latino or Hispanic ethnic group, cohesive and self-conscious, sharing a sense of peoplehood?
Among other findings, Rumbaut’s analysis of recent census and survey data reveals that the concept of “race” has malleable meanings, and that there are vast differences in the way in which Hispanics see themselves racially and ethnically. Divisions are evident between regions and groups, within groups, and even within families.