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How Race is Made in America Natalia Molina’s book, How Race is Made in America,

by | Jun 22, 2022 | History

 

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How Race is Made in America
Natalia Molina’s book, How Race is Made in America, centers 20th century Mexican immigrants in the story of America’s racialization project, but with an eye towards other groups – people of African descent, Native Americans, and people of Asian descent, as well as people of Anglo-European descent. In particular, Molina focuses on the process of determining who is eligible for citizenship as a significant tool that those in power have used to racialize these groups.
Molina also introduces the idea of “racial scripts,” which she defines as “the ways in which the lives of racialized groups are linked across time and space and thereby affect one another, even when [these groups] do not directly cross paths.” (Molina, p. 6) Molina argues that racial scripts function in three ways:
1) they shine light on how racialized groups are acted upon by those in power, including how institutions treat racialized groups;
2) they highlight the way that the process of racialization acts in similar ways on various groups – i.e., it highlights a commonality that is often not seen; and
3) they provide an opportunity for racialized groups to put forth their own counterscripts that challenge the dominant scripts and offer alternative scripts. (Molina, pp. 6-7)
(Hint: the introduction to the book is very valuable for understanding Molina’s project.)
This extra credit opportunity askes you to dig into the book a bit and reflect on what you learn by reading this book.
Explain how the law of U.S. citizenship developed from the point of the ratification of the 14th Amendment (which appears to establish birthright citizenship without regard to race) into the 20th In answering this question, reference the racial scripts that were deployed.
Explain how citizenship law/requirements were used by those in power (people and institutions) to marginalize groups that were, socially if not legally, not considered white. Explain how people in these marginalized groups fought back. In answering this question, reference the racial scripts and racial counterscripts that were deployed.
Explain how the immigration bureaucracy developed in the 20th century, where deportability, especially of Mexicans, became a central project of those in power. Explain the standards that developed for deportability, focusing again on racial scripts. Discuss whether racial counterscripts developed, describe the counterscripts, and discuss whether these counterscripts were deployed successfully.
Describe at least three things that you learned about the racialization project in the 20th century, that you did not know before you read this book, and your reaction.
Assignment guidelines
Double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12 pt. font, name and e-mail address in upper left corner, number the pages. (You know – the usual drill.)
Your essay will be evaluated both for substance (the information you provide) and style (technical writing and grammar).
Number the answers to each question.
Because this assignment is based on just one source, cite to the book just by the page numbers you are referencing. However, there are other sources that focus on this book (including the video posted on the course website), and you are welcome to use and cite to these sources. A Works Cited page is needed if you use non-course resources.
You must use the book to complete this assignment. It will be obvious if you do not have the book in front of you when writing your essay. The book is available in an e-copy (Kindle) and is available with one-day delivery via Amazon prime. Get it now if you don’t already have a copy!

 

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