Event Date
Oct 20, 2011
Speakers
Irene Bloemraad, UC Berkeley
Kim Voss, UC Berkeley
Taeku Lee, UC Berkeley
Photos

Taeku Lee and Irene Bloemraad

 

CRG Thursday Forum Series

POLITICAL PARTIES & GRASSROOTS RESISTANCE:
NEW TEXTS ON RACE, IMMIGRATION & POLITICAL ACTION

Join Prof. Taeku Lee, Political Science, Prof. Kim Voss, Sociology, and Prof. Irene Bloemraad, Sociology, in a discussion of their recent publications on race, immigration, and political action.

Rallying for Immigrant Rights: The Fight for Inclusion in 21st Century America
edited by Prof. Kim Voss, Sociology; and Prof. Irene Bloemraad, Sociology

From Alaska to Florida, millions of immigrants and their supporters took to the streets across the United States to rally for immigrant rights in the spring of 2006. The scope and size of their protests, rallies, and boycotts made these the most significant events of political activism in the United States since the 1960s. This accessibly written volume offers the first comprehensive analysis of this historic moment. Perfect for students and general readers, its essays, written by a multidisciplinary group of scholars and grassroots organizers, trace the evolution and legacy of the 2006 protest movement in engaging, theoretically informed discussions. The contributors cover topics including unions, churches, the media, immigrant organizations, and immigrant politics. Today, one in eight U.S. residents was born outside the country, but for many, lack of citizenship makes political voice through the ballot box impossible. This book helps us better understand how immigrants are making their voices heard in other ways.

Why Americans Don’t Join the Party: Race, Immigration, and the Failure (of Political Parties) to Engage the Electorate
by Zoltan L. Hajnal (University of Chicago) and Prof. Taeku Lee (UC Berkeley, Political Science)

Two trends are dramatically altering the American political landscape: growing immigration and the rising prominence of independent and nonpartisan voters. Examining partisan attachments across the four primary racial groups in the United States, this book offers the first sustained and systematic account of how race and immigration today influence the relationship that Americans have–or fail to have–with the Democratic and Republican parties. Zoltan Hajnal and Taeku Lee contend that partisanship is shaped by three factors–identity, ideology, and information–and they show that African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and whites respond to these factors in distinct ways.

The book explores why so many Americans–in particular, Latinos and Asians–fail to develop ties to either major party, why African Americans feel locked into a particular party, and why some white Americans are shut out by ideologically polarized party competition. Through extensive analysis, the authors demonstrate that when the Democratic and Republican parties fail to raise political awareness, to engage deeply held political convictions, or to affirm primary group attachments, nonpartisanship becomes a rationally adaptive response. By developing a model of partisanship that explicitly considers America’s new racial diversity and evolving nonpartisanship, this book provides the Democratic and Republican parties and other political stakeholders with the means and motivation to more fully engage the diverse range of Americans who remain outside the partisan fray.