The Trouble with Unity: Latino Politics and the Creation of Identity

Paperback | September 27, 2010

byCristina Beltran

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Over the past decade, much attention has been given to examining the growing political influence of Latinos in the United States in order to define the so-called "Latino vote." The idea of the existence of a coherent Latino vote or political agenda (encompassing the interests of various ethnicgroups of Latin-American origin and known as civic Latinidad) is, as this book shows, not only highly debatable, but possibly politically unviable. Beltran's book is the first comprehensive critique of civic Latinidad and the Latino electoral and protest politics that work to erase politicaldiversity and debate in favor of images of political and cultural unity. Situated at the intersection of political theory and Latino studies, Beltran's book analyzes the practices, perceptions, and assumptions that shape how Latinos in the United States articulate their quest for political power and influence. The book looks at three key moments in U.S. Latino politicalhistory: the Chicano and Puerto Rican civil rights movements of the late 1960s; the emergence of Latinos as a pan-ethnic voting bloc in the 1980s; and the recent political activism surrounding illegal immigration. To this, Beltran applies political theory to analyze the relationship amongparticipatory democracy, public speech, and racial identification and to link the study of Latino politics to the larger question of how subjects are made capable of collective action. The Trouble with Unity draws upon a diverse range of political, feminist, and cultural theorists to challenge thevery existence of a coherent "Latino" political agenda with a pre-existing set of "Latino interests" that can be found and defended.

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Over the past decade, much attention has been given to examining the growing political influence of Latinos in the United States in order to define the so-called "Latino vote." The idea of the existence of a coherent Latino vote or political agenda (encompassing the interests of various ethnicgroups of Latin-American origin and known a...

Cristina Beltran is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Haverford College.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:September 27, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195375912

ISBN - 13:9780195375916

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Sleeping Giants and Demographic Floods: Latinos and the Politics of Emergence1. El Pueblo Unido: Visions of Unity in the Chicano and Puerto Rican Movements2. The Incomplete and Agonistic "We": Reading Latinidad into Democratic Theory3. "The Bacchanalia of the Political": Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Dream of Latino Identification4. From Identification to Representation: Civic Latinidad and the Making of "the Latino Vote."5. Labor, Action, and the Space of Appearance: Immigrant Embodiment and the Problem of FreedomConclusion: Latino Is a Verb: Democracy, Latinidad, and the Creation of the Political