Race and Classification: The Case of Mexican America

By Ilona Katzew; Susan Deans-Smith | Go to book overview

5 Eugenics and Racial Classification
in Modern Mexican America

Alexandra Minna Stern

IN 1930, A NEW CATEGORY—”Mexican”—was added to the U.S. census, and enumerators were instructed to count all persons “born in Mexico, or having parents born in Mexico, who were not definitely white, Negro, Indian, Chinese, or Japanese” as Mexicans.1 Purged from the category of “white,” which they had previously inhabited, Mexicans were now explicitly labeled as nonwhite and foreign. Moreover, “Mexican” functioned as a mixed-race category not unlike mulatto, which had been included in the census from 1850 to 1920 and was only dropped definitively in 1930.2 In a seeming irony, that same year architects of the Mexican census chose to eliminate all racial categories, explaining that because it was impossible to ascertain with any certainty a person's “race” or degree of “race-mixing” (mestizaje), it was futile and absurd to attempt to gather such data. Rejecting racial categories and what they called the “concept of race,” the formulators of the Mexican census instead expanded questions about the use of language that aimed to distinguish among the country's many indigenous groups and determine the percentages of monolingual and bilingual speakers.3

If in the United States, the addition of “Mexican” was part and parcel of an ever-ramifying list of exclusionary racial categories, all counterposed to white, in Mexico, the submergence of “race” reflected the inclusionary sentiment of the post-revolutionary state. This chapter traces the countervailing politics of racial classification in the United States and Mexico, emphasizing the different meanings and manifestations of science and society in each country. It situates this comparative history in the context of the growing popularity of eugenics among scientific experts involved in formulating

-151-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Race and Classification: The Case of Mexican America
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 357

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.