Batos, Bolillos, Pochos, and Pelados: Class and Culture on the South Texas Border, Edition 2

University of Texas Press
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A classic account of life on the Texas-Mexico border, Batos, Bolillos, Pochos, and Pelados offers the fullest portrait currently available of the people of the South Texas/Northern Mexico borderlands. First published in 1999, the book is now extensively revised and updated throughout to cover developments since 2000, including undocumented immigration, the drug wars, race relations, growing social inequality, and the socioeconomic gap between Latinos and the rest of American society—issues of vital and continuing national importance.

An outgrowth of the Borderlife Research Project conducted at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Batos, Bolillos, Pochos, and Pelados uses the voices of several hundred Valley residents, collected by embedded student researchers and backed by the findings of sociological surveys, to describe the lives of migrant farmworkers, colonia residents, undocumented domestic servants, maquiladora workers, and Mexican street children. Likewise, it explores social, racial, and ethnic relations in South Texas among groups such as Latinos, Mexican immigrants, wealthy Mexican visitors, Anglo residents or tourists, and Asian and African American residents of South Texas. With this firsthand material and an explanatory focus that utilizes and applies social-science theoretical concepts, the book thoroughly addresses the future composition and integration of Latinos into the society and culture of the United States.

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About the author

Chad Richardson is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. His previous books include On the Edge of the Law: Culture, Labor, and Deviance on the South Texas Border, coauthored with Rosalva Resendiz.

Michael Pisani is a professor of international business at Central Michigan University. He coauthored The Informal and Underground Economy of the South Texas Border with Chad Richardson.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Texas Press
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Published on
Jul 18, 2017
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Pages
433
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ISBN
9781477312711
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Much has been debated about the presence of undocumented workers along the South Texas border, but these debates often overlook the more complete dimension: the region's longstanding, undocumented economies as a whole. Borderlands commerce that evades government scrutiny can be categorized into informal economies (the unreported exchange of legal goods and services) or underground economies (criminal economic activities that, obviously, occur without government oversight). Examining long-term study, observation, and participation in the border region, with the assistance of hundreds of locally embedded informants, The Informal and Underground Economy of the South Texas Border presents unique insights into the causes and ramifications of these economic channels.

The third volume in UT–Pan American's Borderlife Project, this eye-opening investigation draws on vivid ethnographic interviews, bolstered by decades of supplemental data, to reveal a culture where divided loyalties, paired with a lack of access to protection under the law and other forms of state-sponsored recourse, have given rise to social spectra that often defy stereotypes. A cornerstone of the authors' findings is that these economic activities increase when citizens perceive the state's intervention as illegitimate, whether in the form of fees, taxes, or regulation. From living conditions in the impoverished colonias to President Felipe Calderón's futile attempts to eradicate police corruption in Mexico, this book is a riveting portrait of benefit versus risk in the wake of a "no-man's-land" legacy.

This explosive new book challenges many of the long-prevailing assumptions about blacks, about Jews, about Germans, about slavery, and about education. Plainly written, powerfully reasoned, and backed with a startling array of documented facts, Black Rednecks and White Liberals takes on not only the trendy intellectuals of our times but also such historic interpreters of American life as Alexis de Tocqueville and Frederick Law Olmsted. In a series of long essays, this book presents an in-depth look at key beliefs behind many mistaken and dangerous actions, policies, and trends. It presents eye-opening insights into the historical development of the ghetto culture that is today wrongly seen as a unique black identity--a culture cheered on toward self-destruction by white liberals who consider themselves "friends" of blacks. An essay titled "The Real History of Slavery" presents a jolting re-examination of that tragic institution and the narrow and distorted way it is too often seen today. The reasons for the venomous hatred of Jews, and of other groups like them in countries around the world, are explored in an essay that asks, "Are Jews Generic?" Misconceptions of German history in general, and of the Nazi era in particular, are also re-examined. So too are the inspiring achievements and painful tragedies of black education in the United States. "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" is the capstone of decades of outstanding research and writing on racial and cultural issues by Thomas Sowell.
The Valley of South Texas is a region of puzzling contradictions. Despite a booming economy fueled by free trade and rapid population growth, the Valley typically experiences high unemployment and low per capita income. The region has the highest rate of drug seizures in the United States, yet its violent crime rate is well below national and state averages. The Valley's colonias are home to the poorest residents in the nation, but their rates of home ownership and intact two-parent families are among the highest in the country for low-income residential areas. What explains these apparently irreconcilable facts?

Since 1982, faculty and students associated with the Borderlife Research Project at the University of Texas-Pan American have interviewed thousands of Valley residents to investigate and describe the cultural and social life along the South Texas-Northern Mexico border. In this book, Borderlife researchers clarify why Valley culture presents so many apparent contradictions as they delve into issues that are "on the edge of the law"—traditional health care and other cultural beliefs and practices, displaced and undocumented workers, immigration enforcement, drug smuggling, property crime, criminal justice, and school dropout rates. The researchers' findings make it plain that while these issues present major challenges for the governments of the United States and Mexico, their effects and contradictions are especially acute on the border, where residents must daily negotiate between two very different economies; health care, school, and criminal justice systems; and worldviews.

* Longlisted for the National Book Award * Winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award * A New York Times Notable Book * A Washington Post Notable Book * An NPR Best Book of 2017 * A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2017 * An Atlanta Journal-Constitution Best Southern Book of 2017 *

This extraordinary New York Times bestseller reexamines a pivotal event of the civil rights movement—the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till—“and demands that we do the one vital thing we aren’t often enough asked to do with history: learn from it” (The Atlantic).

In 1955, white men in the Mississippi Delta lynched a fourteen-year-old from Chicago named Emmett Till. His murder was part of a wave of white terrorism in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional. Only weeks later, Rosa Parks thought about young Emmett as she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Five years later, Black students who called themselves “the Emmett Till generation” launched sit-in campaigns that turned the struggle for civil rights into a mass movement. Till’s lynching became the most notorious hate crime in American history.

But what actually happened to Emmett Till—not the icon of injustice, but the flesh-and-blood boy? Part detective story, part political history, The Blood of Emmett Till “unfolds like a movie” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), drawing on a wealth of new evidence, including a shocking admission of Till’s innocence from the woman in whose name he was killed. “Jolting and powerful” (The Washington Post), the book “provides fresh insight into the way race has informed and deformed our democratic institutions” (Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Carry Me Home) and “calls us to the cause of justice today” (Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina NAACP).
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