Becoming Neighbors in a Mexican American Community: Power, Conflict, and Solidarity

By Gilda L. Ochoa | Go to book overview

Notes

Chapter 1

1. While almost all said they did not mind if their names were used, to ensure their privacy and the privacy of their family members, respondents’ names have been changed. The name changes were either provided by the participants or selected to approximate the racial/ethnic ancestry of individuals’ actual names. Quotations here and throughout this work are typically used to indicate that these are the sentences, phrases, and words used by the participants in this study.

2. Out of awareness of the politics of racial and ethnic labels, this work uses the terms most often employed by the people I interviewed. “Mexican American” is used when referring to Mexicans born in the United States, and “Mexican immigrants,” “Mexicanas,” and “Mexicanos” are used when referring to people born in Mexico who are currently living in the United States. “Mexican,” “Mexican-origin,” and “Mexican descent” are used to refer to both Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants. Though used less frequently by the individuals included in this work, “Latina/o” refers to anyone of Latin American descent.

3. Throughout this book, I use the term “race/ethnicity” to best capture the experiences of the Mexican-origin population in the United States. I use race/ethnicity not to conflate race and ethnicity but instead to acknowledge that they are two interrelated systems that have worked together in ways that shape the life chances and experiences of the Mexican-origin community. While Mexican Americans are usually discussed as an ethnic group that shares cultural characteristics, in the United States they have been racialized and socially constructed as distinct from European Americans both racially and ethnically.

4. With a realization that all racial/ethnic labels are political, camouflage diversity, and vary geographically, historically, and situationally, I use the terms and definitions typically used in public and academic discourse. Therefore, throughout this work, I use the terms “Asian American,” “African American” or “Black,” and “White” or “Anglo” (these last two terms are used when referring to non-Latina/o whites of European descent). As a group, Whites in the United States historically and contemporarily have

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