Fit to be Citizens?
Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939
By (author) Natalia Molina
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Fit to be Citizens? by Natalia Molina
Book DescriptionMeticulously researched and beautifully written, "Fit to Be Citizens?" demonstrates how both science and public health shaped the meaning of race in the early twentieth century. Through a careful examination of the experiences of Mexican, Japanese, and Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles, Natalia Molina illustrates the many ways local health officials used complexly constructed concerns about public health to demean, diminish, discipline, and ultimately define racial groups. She shows how the racialization of Mexican Americans was not simply a matter of legal exclusion or labor exploitation, but rather that scientific discourses and public health practices played a key role in assigning negative racial characteristics to the group. The book skillfully moves beyond the binary oppositions that usually structure works in ethnic studies by deploying comparative and relational approaches that reveal the racialization of Mexican Americans as intimately associated with the relative historical and social positions of Asian Americans, African Americans, and whites. Its rich archival grounding provides a valuable history of public health in Los Angeles, living conditions among Mexican immigrants, and the ways in which regional racial categories influence national laws and practices. Molina's compelling study advances our understanding of the complexity of racial politics, attesting that racism is not static and that different groups can occupy different places in the racial order at different times.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520246492
(229mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 10-Mar-2006
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Natalia Molina
How Race is Made in America, Hardback (December 2013)» View all books by Natalia Molina
Examines Mexican immigration - from 1924 when immigration acts drastically reduced immigration to the US to 1965 when many quotas were abolished - to understand how broad themes of race and citizenship are constructed.
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Author Biography - Natalia Molina
Natalia Molina is Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies and Urban Studies at the University of California, San Diego.
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