What I Am Thinking About Now: Laura López-Sanders: "From 'God Sent' to 'God Damned': Nativist Shocks and their Influence on Race Relations in New Immigrant Destinations"

CSREA, 96 Waterman Street, Providence RI

Please join us on Thursday, November 16, at 12pm-1pm for a "What I Am Thinking About Now" presentation by Laura López-Sanders, Assistant Professor of Sociology. Her talk is titled, "From 'God Sent' to 'God Damned': Nativist Shocks and their Influence on Race Relations in New Immigrant Destinations."

How do swings in nativism influence immigrants’ sense of citizenship and belonging? This paper addresses this question by focusing on the integration experience of Latino immigrants as their group position changes in the racial hierarchy. Drawing from two years of participant observation and drawing from nearly 300 interviews in South Carolina, her research shows how native-born attitudes and beliefs about immigrants radically shifted from welcoming to exclusionary. She will introduce the concept of “Nativist Shocks” to explain the forces that immigrants identified as influencing their perception that Americans no longer want them. The central argument is that immigrants interpret salient events, including changes in state policy, activist actions, and public demonstrations, as having a 'racial face'. This 'face' is based on the racial group they associate with the event and crystallizes racial antagonism for immigrants and their sense of group position. Nativist Shocks ultimately drive the unauthorized away from some new immigrant destinations and, in many cases, back to their home nations. This paper enhances linear models that show immigrant integration as a gradual, long-term and monotonic process. She will show that integration can be susceptible to shocks that induce immigrants to solidify their sense of group position and race relations over a short period of time.

RSVP: [email protected]

"What I Am Thinking About Now" is an on-going informal workshop/seminar series to which faculty and graduate students are invited to present and discuss recently published work and work in progress. All are invited to attend and participate.