PS 422 Latino History and Politics

This class will consist primarily of lectures supplemented with videos and student participation. We will examine the historical, social, political, economic, and cultural experiences and conditions of Latinos, the second largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States.  The focus of the course will be on people who can trace their origins to Mexico, the Caribbean, and other countries of Latin America. The main emphasis will be on the experiences of Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans—the three largest U.S. Latino ethnic groups.  However, considerable attention will be given to Dominicans, Salvadorans and many other Latino ethnic groups that are fast becoming a force in contemporary U.S. society.  Although they share many things in common, Latinos have variegated experiences in the U.S. due to regional and/or national differences. Their historic modes of incorporation into American society will be analyzed and discussed, along with their continuing migration patterns, their experiences of racialization, as well as their current demographic and socio-economic condition.  A historical and comparative sociological perspective will be used throughout the course to help explain contrasting experiences.