The Case of the Disappearing Mexican Americans: An Ethnic-Identity Mystery

  title={The Case of the Disappearing Mexican Americans: An Ethnic-Identity Mystery},
  author={Richard Alba and Tariqul Islam},
  journal={Population Research and Policy Review},
We examine the issue of identification stability for U.S.-born Mexican Americans, by far the largest of the ethnic groups growing as a result of contemporary immigration. We demonstrate a significant exodus from the group as identified by the census. Although changes in the wording of the census question may have contributed to this loss, a major portion, as revealed by comparisons of birth cohorts across the 1980, 1990, and 2000 Censuses, occurs because individuals who identified themselves as… Expand
Mexican Americans as a paradigm for contemporary intra-group heterogeneity
Abstract Racialization and assimilation offer alternative perspectives on the position of immigrant-origin populations in American society. We question the adequacy of either perspective alone in theExpand
The Complexity of Immigrant Generations: Implications for Assessing the Socioeconomic Integration of Hispanics and Asians
The results indicate that ethnic attrition generates measurement biases that vary across groups in direction as well as magnitude, and that correcting for these biases is likely to raise the socioeconomic standing of the U.S.-born descendants of Hispanic immigrants relative to their Asian counterparts. Expand
A resurgence of black identity in Brazil? Evidence from an analysis of recent censuses
BACKGROUND The second half of the 20th century brought a sharp increase in the number of people self-identifying as “brown” in the Brazilian Censuses. Previous studies have demonstrated that this wasExpand
Racial Identity and Racial Treatment of Mexican Americans
Examining how education, racial characteristics, social interactions, relate to racial outcomes in the lives of Mexican Americans finds that darker Mexican Americans, therefore appearing more stereotypically Mexican, report more experiences of discrimination. Expand
Identifying the Later-Generation Descendants of U.S. Immigrants: Issues Arising from Selective Ethnic Attrition
Evaluating the long-term socioeconomic integration of immigrants in the United States requires analyses of differences between foreign-born and U.S.-born residents, as well as analyses acrossExpand
Who Remains Mexican? Selective Ethnic Attrition and the Intergenerational Progress of Mexican Americans
This chapter argues that selective ethnic attrition creates potentially serious problems for tracking the socioeconomic progress of the US-born descendants of Mexican immigrants. As the descendantsExpand
Ethnic Attrition, Assimilation, and the Measured Health Outcomes of Mexican Americans
The literature on immigrant assimilation and intergenerational progress has sometimes reached surprising conclusions, such as the puzzle of immigrant advantage which finds that Hispanic immigrantsExpand
Ethnic attrition, assimilation, and the measured health outcomes of Mexican Americans
The literature on immigrant assimilation and intergenerational progress has sometimes reached surprising conclusions, such as the puzzle of immigrant advantage which finds that Hispanic immigrantsExpand
Immigration and Intermarriage Among Hispanics: Crossing Racial and Generational Boundaries†
Rates of Hispanic intermarriage with whites declined for the first time during the 1990s. One hypothesis, which we test here, is that the recent influx of new immigrants has provided an expandingExpand
The Racialization of Latino Immigrants in New Destinations: Criminality, Ascription, and Countermobilization
This article analyzes patterns in Latino immigrant racialization in the U.S. South. Drawing on a unique dataset of more than 4,200 news stories from the region, we find that Latino immigrants faceExpand


Racial identity and the spatial assimilation of Mexicans in the United States
Abstract Mexico's national ideology holds that Mexicans are mestizos, a racially mixed group created by the union of Europeans and Indians. When Mexicans migrate to the United States, this mixedExpand
Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration
In this age of multicultural democracy, the idea of assimilation - that the social distance separating immigrants and their children from the mainstream of American society closes over time - seemsExpand
Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America
In this perceptive and revealing study, Mary Waters explores the 'reinvention' of ethnicity in the lives of the grandchildren and great grandchildren of European immigrants, asking how their ethnicExpand
The Ethnic Responses of Whites: What Causes Their Instability, Simplification, and Inconsistency?
This article analyzes some inconsistent or puzzling observations in the data derivedfrom the new approach to measuring ethnicity first used in the 1980 census. These puzzles include theExpand
Ethnic Identity: The Transformation of White America.
This landmark work examines the changing role of ethnicity in the lives of Amerians from a broad range of European backgrounds. Using data from in-depth interviews with more than five hundred people,Expand
Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmeasured Progress by Mexican Americans
Using Census and CPS data, we show that U.S.-born Mexican Americans who marry non-Mexicans are substantially more educated and English proficient, on average, than are Mexican Americans who marryExpand
How 4.5 Million Irish Immigrants Became 40 Million Irish Americans: Demographic and Subjective Aspects of the Ethnic Composition of White Americans.
In 1980 for the first time the U.S. Census contained a subjective question about ethnic identity. Natural increase intermarriage and subjective identification contribute to the current size of eachExpand
The changing neighborhood contexts of the immigrant metropolis
To understand the impacts of large-scale immigration on neighborhood contexts, we employ locational-attainment models, in which two characteristics of a neighborhood, its average household income andExpand
Constructing Ethnicity: Creating and Recreating Ethnic Identity and Culture
Contrary to expectations implicit in the image of the “melting pot” that ethnic distinctions could be eliminated in US society, the resurgence of ethnic nationalism in the United States and aroundExpand
Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Economic Integration
Immigration is a hot and emotional topic at the current time. This excellent book contributes some reason and knowledge to the debate. The authors give clarity by presenting an historical context toExpand