Migrants and Race in the US
Territorial Racism and the Alien/Outside
Routledge – 2013 – 208 pages
This book explains how migrants can be viewed as racial others, not just because they are nonwhite, but because they are racially "alien." This way of seeing makes it possible to distinguish migrants from a set of racial categories that are presumed to be indigenous to the nation. In the US, these indigenous racial categories are usually defined in terms of white and black. Kretsedemas explores how this kind of racialization puts migrants in a quandary, leading them to be simultaneously raced and situated outside of race.
Although the book focuses on the situation of migrants in the US, it builds on theories of migrants and race that extend beyond the US, and makes a point of criticizing nation-centered explanations of race and racism. These arguments point toward the emergence of a new field visibility that has transformed the racial meaning of nativity, migration and migrant ethnicity. It also situates these changing views of migrants in a broader historical perspective than prior theory, explaining how they have been shaped by a changing relationship between race and territory that has been unfolding for several hundred years, and which crystallizes in the late colonial era.
"With a thoughtful voice and trenchant analysis Philip Kretsedemas challenges the understanding of migrant racialization in the United States as a simple re-do of the black/white binary. Interspersed with a broad overview of the scholarship on race and migration, Kretsedemas argues that territorial distinctions shape the ways immigrants are racialized. This book will command attention from scholars in the field and the clear prose, original thought and assessment of the field make it a perfect choice for classrooms devoted to the sociology of race, immigration and critical racial studies. It is sure to spark lively debate."
- Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, University of Southern California
“In this book, Kretsedemas provides a sophisticated analysis of the racialization of contemporary migrants to the U.S. The author demonstrates that migrants today are often racialized not along a black/white continuum, but in dialogue with it, othered as “racially alien” and as “conspicuous symbols” of a space outside of the nation. Migrants and Race in the U.S. is an important addition to a growing body of theoretical work on the racialization of Latinos, Asians, and other non-blacks, well-demonstrating the maturation and richness of this field of inquiry."
- Enid Logan, University of Minnesota
1. Migrants and Race: An Introduction 2. The Facts (and Fictions) of Non-Blackness 3. The Problem of Territorial Belonging 4. Territorial Racism 5. Who is an American Minority? 6. Removable People 7. In-Between and Outside
Philip Kretsedemas is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. His research and writing has examined the dynamics of immigrant racialization, policy outcomes for immigrant populations and the regulation of migrant flows by the state. Some of his journal articles have appeared in American Quarterly, International Migration and Stanford Law and Policy Review. He is also the co-editor of Keeping Out the Other: A Critical Introduction to Immigration Enforcement Today (with David Brotherton; 2008, Columbia University Press) and is the author of The Immigration Crucible: Transforming ‘Race’, Nation and the Limits of the Law (2012, Columbia University Press).