Book Review: Natalia Molina, How Race is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts, Los Angeles and Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014Journal: NETSOL: New Trends in Social and Liberal Sciences (Vol.2, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2017-05-30
Authors : Mychal Odom;
Page : 29-30
Keywords : Race; immigration; America; citizenship; racial scripts;
Natalia Molina, How Race is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts, Los Angeles and Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014. Natalia Molina is a Professor of History and Associate Vice Chancellor of Faculty Diversity and Equity at the University of California, San Diego. Molina's How Race is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Powers of Racial Scripts is the second full manuscript she has published. It consists of five chapters and is split into two parts: “Immigration Regimes I: Mapping Race and Citizenship” and “Immigration II: Making Mexicans Deplorable.” Molina's first text, Fit to be Citizens?: Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939 (2006), was a regional study of racial formation in the United States. As both texts examine the correlation of racialized notions of science, health, and disease to citizenship in the United States, they are undoubtedly linked projects. While Molina is understood as a Mexican-American Studies scholar, she and her colleagues throughout the University of California system sought to understand the study of race, class, gender, and sexuality through what Molina and her colleagues have termed a relational notion of race, building on the work of senior scholars like Michael Omi, Howard Winant, George Lipsitz, David Roediger, and others. Far from a reductive theorization of race, Molina has expanded the field of Mexican-American Studies and American Ethnic Studies. Departing from the comparative model of the study of racial formation, the relational framework “recognizes that race is a mutually constitutive process and thus attends to how, when, where, and to what extent groups intersect. It recognizes that there are limits to examining racialized groups in isolation (3). As Molina has explained, relational studies can be achieved by letting research questions guide respective projects and not simply fields of study.
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