Everyday Injustice: Latino Professionals and Racism (Perspectives on a Multiracial America)

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9781442209190: Everyday Injustice: Latino Professionals and Racism (Perspectives on a Multiracial America)

As members of the fastest-growing demographic group in America, Latinos are increasingly represented in the professional class, but they continue to face significant racism. Everyday Injustice introduces readers to the challenges facing Latino professionals today.

Examining the experiences of many of the most privileged members of the largest racial and ethnic community in the United States, Maria Chávez provides important insights into the challenges facing racialized groups, particularly Latinos, in the United States. Her study looks at Latino lawyers in depth, weaving powerful personal stories and interview excerpts with a broader analysis of survey research and focus groups. The book examines racial framing in America, the role of language and culture among Latino professionals, the role of Latinos in the workplace, their level of civic participation, and the important role that education plays in improving their experiences. One chapter discusses the unique challenges that Latinas face in the workplace as both women and people of color.

The findings outlined in Everyday Injustice suggest that despite considerable success in overcoming educational, economic, and class barriers, Latino professionals still experience marginalization. A powerful illustration of racism and inequality in America.

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About the Author:

Maria Chávez is associate professor of political science at Pacific Lutheran University. She blogs for www.racismreview.com and lives in Lacey, Washington.

Joe R. Feagin is Ella C. McFadden Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University and author of a number of influential books on race in America, including The White Racial Frame.

Review:

"This book helps us fully understand how race, culture, and class can continue to marginalize Latina/o professionals today. Chávez masterfully details the complexities and subtleties of how this marginalization persists in the contemporary legal profession. This book is highly critical of U.S. Society. More importantly, it is a call for the nation to live up to the high ideals of equal opportunity, full inclusion, and the building of a national community of common destiny and linked fate." --Luis R. Fraga, Russell F. Stark University Professor, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement, and Director, Diversity Research Institute of University of Washington

"Many Americans, particularly immigrants, consider becoming a doctor or a lawyer the epitome of success, proof that this truly is the land of opportunity. Yet, as Chávez forcefully demonstrates, insidious racism, marginalization and even open hostility towards Latino attorneys are deep-seated and enduring within the legal profession. For Latinas, these 'micro-aggressions' as one respondent terms them, are even more pervasive. Maria Chávez explodes many myths in this groundbreaking book. Her outing of the barriers to success and acceptance by Latino lawyers puts the lie to the idea that America is a color-blind society, and underscores the need to take more active measures to ensure a true end to the current white racial frame under which all people of color continue to be oppressed." --Melissa R. Michelson, professor of political science, Menlo College

"Chávez uses a combination of quantitative surveys and a significant number of in-depth interviews to shed light on the experiences of Latina/o lawyers in Washington State. Chávez paints a detailed and moving picture of how gender, race, and class intersect in her respondents' lives, and how experiences of marginalization continue to be relevant to them across a number of parameters, despite their professional and socioeconomic success." --Lisa García Bodella, chair, Center for Latino Policy Research, University of California, Berkeley

"Everyday Injustice is the first comprehensive study of the experiences of Latino lawyers with racism and discrimination. Even though they have prevailed through the education process to become lawyers, Latino attorneys are often stereotyped as perpetual 'foreigners' to the United States, even though their families may have been in the country for generations. Citizens or not, Latino lawyers face their own struggles to become full members of the legal profession rather than marginalized outsiders. As Maria Chávez demonstrates, the discrimination is just as much a fact of life for Latino lawyers as it is for low-and medium-skilled workers. Moreover, Latina lawyers, as both racial minorities and women, face gender as well as racial stereotypes that contribute to their marginalization in the legal profession. After reading Everyday Injustice and '[h]aving listened to the stories from the diverse group of Latino lawyers in this study,' one must conclude that the racial hostility and discrimination that they regularly suffer means that 'despite our progress with race relations, we [as a nation] still have a long way to go.'" --Kevin R. Johnson, dean, School of Law, and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies, UC Davis

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