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From volunteers ready to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border to the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children who have marched in support of immigrant rights, the United States has witnessed a surge of involvement in immigration activism. InThe Latino Threat, Leo R. Chavez critically investigates the media stories about and recent experiences of immigrants to show how prejudices and stereotypes have been used to malign an entire immigrant populationand to define what it means to be an American. Punditsand the media at largenurture and perpetuate the notion that Latinos, particularly Mexicans, are an invading force bent on reconquering land once considered their own. Through a perceived refusal to learn English and an "out of control" birthrate, many say that Latinos are destroying the American way of life. But Chavez questions these assumptions and offers facts to counter the myth that Latinos are a threat to the security and prosperity of our nation. His breakdown of the "Latino threat" contests this myth's basic tenets, challenging such well-known authors as Samuel Huntington, Pat Buchanan, and Peter Brimelow. Chavez concludes that citizenship is not just about legal definitions, but about participation in society. Deeply resonant in today's atmosphere of exclusion, Chavez's insights offer an alternative and optimistic view of the vitality and future of our country.
Leo R. Chavez is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. His publications include Shadowed Lives: Undocumented Immigrants in American Society (1998) and Covering Immigration: Popular Images and the Politics of the Nation (2001).
Table of Contents
Constructing and Challenging Myths
The Latino Threat Narrative
Cultural Contradictions of Citizenship and Belonging
Latina Sexuality, Reproduction, and Fertility as Threats to the Nation
Latina Fertility and Reproduction Reconsidered
Media Spectacles and the Production of Neoliberal Citizen-Subjects
Organ Transplants and the Privileges of Citizenship
The Minuteman Project's Spectacle of Surveillance on the Arizona-Mexico Border
The Immigrant Marches of 2006 and the Struggle for Inclusion
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