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June 19, 2013

Book Review: Mexican Americans in Texas

The book Mexican Americans in Texas is about the Hispanic population in the United States which is mainly characterized by its diversity. If, within the demographic group that it is customary to designate by the term "Hispanic", we study the Mexicans, we see once again a great heterogeneity made ​​great differences. This article intends to highlight these differences. In particular, Mexican Americans in Texas talks about the second-generation Mexicans, who were born and raised in the United States and form a group respected and well integrated. It intends to highlight some problems encountered by individuals in this group in the definition of their identity on the one hand, and on the other, facing a backlash from the people "Anglo" in the context of Hispanic immigration, which continues to grow.
American public is concerned about the rapid increase of Mexicans in the United States (based on figures collected in the last census, the Census Bureau's projections envisage that Hispanics will become the group largest minority in 2005 and their number will triple by 2050). Fears are diffuse, or openly expressed, and they derive various objects - immigration, Hispanic, color, language - the sociologist cannot always clearly identified. The reasons are a direct wave of legal immigration more than expected, but illegal immigration (far from being solely composed of Mexicans), unstoppable, penetrating the country's southern border, this leading to the increasing diversity of the U.S. population always accompanied the ancestral fear of the Other. To understand these reactions, we must keep in mind the reversal that has occurred in the proportion between the Mexican long-established and newcomers. Today, Mexicans immigrate to the United States in large numbers and form of such concentrations that they are struggling to integrate into the local population.
Changing lifestyles and new perceptions within the American people require changes to the questions that are asked. One of the most significant changes made ​​to the census of 2000 was the revision questions on race and Hispanic origin to better represent the growing diversity of the country

This book also provides an updated definition of the term Hispanic or Latino as a person "of culture or of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Central America or South America or any other Spanish culture or origin”. At first reading, we see that the government perspective has changed over the years and today, "the idea that each individual has its own identity" is clearly a concession to multiculturalism, a distance of assimilations theses, which allows everyone the freedom to determine for itself. However, this definition is too generalizing and, therefore, imprecise, because it brings together in one category of individuals whose only common language would be. However, Spanish is not even the mother tongue of all Hispanics, as a number of them, mostly Mexicans, are installed in the United States for several generations. The Census accepts the fact that Hispanics can be of any racial group and a variety of national and cultural groups, whether born or not in the country they claim to be attached. By bringing together individuals who have, for many, nothing in common, both in their history, traditions and cultural backgrounds, in their recent past, the category "Hispanic" is more like a "catch-all" that to a serious demographic class.

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