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Uneven Roads

Uneven Roads
An Introduction to U.S. Racial and Ethnic Politics

Second Edition

Other Titles in:
Minority Politics

April 2018 | 512 pages | CQ Press

Uneven Roads helps students grasp how, when, and why race and ethnicity matter in U.S. politics. Using the metaphor of a road, with twists, turns, and dead ends, this incisive text takes students on a journey to understanding political racialization and the roots of modern interpretations of race and ethnicity. The book’s structure and narrative are designed to encourage comparison and reflection. Students critically analyze the history and context of U.S. racial and ethnic politics to build the skills needed to draw their own conclusions.

In the Second Edition of this groundbreaking text, authors Shaw, DeSipio, Pinderhughes, and Travis bring the historical narrative to life by addressing the most contemporary debates and challenges affecting U.S. racial and ethnic politics. Students will explore important issues regarding voting rights, political representation, education and criminal justice policies, and the immigrant experience. A revised final chapter on intersectionality encourages students to examine how groups go beyond the boundaries of race and ethnicity to come together on matters of class, gender, and sexuality.

About the Authors
Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1: Introduction: Race as an Uneven Road
Does Race Still Matter?

Defining Race, Ethnicity, and Racism

Racial Classification, Citizenship, and Group Status

The Uneven Road of Race: Our Framework

Conclusion: The Journey Ahead

Part II: Historical Foundations
Chapter 2: Native Americans: The Road from Majority to Minority, 1500s–1970s
Native Communities in North America

Rising Tensions: Native Americans and the New United States, 1776–1830s

U.S. Federal Policy Erodes Indian Rights, 1830s

The Civil War and Its Aftermath: Slaveholding and the Fourteenth Amendment

U.S. Federal Policy: Assimilation versus Culture and Sovereignty, 1870s–1950s

Termination of Federal Support of Tribes, 1945–1950s

Civil Rights and Self-Determination, 1960s–1970s

Conclusion: A Continuing Struggle for Equal Rights

Chapter 3: The African American Political Journey, 1500s–1965
Race, Slavery, and the Origins of African Americans, 1500s–1790s

The Early American Republic and Black Political Resistance, 1770s–1865

The Antebellum Black Community and Political Resistance

The Civil War and Its Aftermath, 1860–1877

Black Politics in the Jim Crow Era, 1880–1940

The Second Reconstruction: Postwar and Civil Rights Movement Era, 1950s–1960s

Civil Rights Demonstrations and Mass Protest in the South: The Second Major Protest Cycle, 1960–1964

Conclusion: The Road to Black Politics Up to 1965

Chapter 4: The Road toward Contemporary Latino Politics, 1500s–1970s
The Road’s Colonial Beginnings, 1493–1850

Destruction of Mexican American Politics, Late 1800s

The Rebirth of Mexican American Politics, 1900–1960

From Civic Activism to Political Engagement

Differing Paths: Puerto Ricans and Cubans, 1890s–1950s

Civil Rights and Ethnic Nationalism in Latino Communities, 1960s–1970s

Conclusion: Latinos as a Pan-Ethnic Group

Chapter 5: Different and Common Asian American Roads, 1800s–1960s
The Racialization of Asian Americans

European Imperialism and Asian Emigration

Immigration and Economics before the Anti-Asian Zenith, Up to the 1870s

Early Community Formation among Asian Americans

Race, Region, and the Anti-Asian Era, 1870s–1940s

Shifts and Declines in the Anti-Asian Era, 1940s–1960s

Asian American Political Empowerment in the Civil Rights Era

The Asian American Journey Since 1965: The Model Minority and Racial Threat Myth Today

Conclusion: The Uneven Roads of Asian American Opportunity

Chapter 6: Whiteness and the Shifting Roads of Immigrant America, 1780s–1960s
Who Is White? Racial Considerations at the Time of the Founding

Large-Scale Immigration and Overcoming Ethnic Exclusion

White Identity at the Dawn of the Civil Rights Era

The State and White Advantage

Conclusion: Legacies of Racial Hierarchy and the Roots of Contemporary Politics

Part III: Policy and Social Issues
Chapter 7: Voting Rights in American Life
Minority Groups and Voting Rights

The Civil Rights Movement as a Foundation for Voting Expansion

Civil Rights and Voting Rights Legislation after 1965

Redistricting and Minority Representation

The Politics behind the 2006 Early Renewal of the Voting Rights Act

The Long-Term Stability of the Voting Rights Act

Conclusion: The Role of Race in Contemporary Voting Rights

Chapter 8: Group Identity, Ideology, and Activism
Why Group Identity, Ideology, and Activism Matter

Race, Ethnicity, and Public Opinion

Race, Ethnicity, and Political Ideology: The Political Impact of Racialization

Activist Pathways to Empowerment

The Legacy of Grassroots and Civil Rights Activism

Conclusion: Mobilizing for a Changed Future

Chapter 9: Political Behavior and Representation: Minorities’ Growing Voice
Why Is the Minority Vote Important?

Minority Civic Engagement: Patterns in Participation

Minority Ideology and Partisanship: Finding a Place in the U.S. Political System

Minority Electoral Participation: Unrealized Potential to Influence Politics

Representation: Electing a Voice for Minority Interests

Conclusion: Have Minorities Overcome Political Exclusion?

Chapter 10: Education and Criminal Justice Policies: Opportunity and Alienation
Race, Ethnicity, and Public Policy

Public Education: Opportunities and Detours

Race, Ethnicity, and Education Policy Outcomes

The Criminal Justice System: Barriers and Roadblocks

Race, Ethnicity, and Criminal Justice Policy Outcomes

Conclusion: Public Policy Destinations

Chapter 11: Immigration Policy: The Road to Settlement and Citizenship
Immigrant Status and Numbers

Immigration Policies before 1965

The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Amendments

U.S. Immigrant Incorporation Policies

Immigration Policy in the 21st Century: Alternative Roads

Minority Communities and Minority Coalitions in the Immigration Reform Debate

Conclusion: A Turning Point for U.S. Immigration Policy

Chapter 12: Diasporic Politics and Foreign Affairs
The Growing Ease of Transnational Activity

The Roots of Contemporary Transnational Engagement: Family and Community Ties

Transnational Activity: Beyond the Immigrant Generation

U.S. Foreign Policy and Minority Communities

Conclusion: The Political Value of Transnational Politics

Chapter 13: Beyond Race: Intersections of Race, Gender, Class, and Sexual Orientation
The Still Uneven Roads of Race, Racism, and Ethnicity

The Uneven Roads of Identity Politics

Intersecting Roads: Race, Gender, Class, and Sexual Orientation

Possible Responses to Uneven Roads

Conclusion: Prospects for the Future


Uneven Roads gives a sincere, unromantic and yet nonjudgmental account of how legal and political institutions were established in ways that impacted the civil and legal status of millions of Americans. It engaged, enraged, and informed my students of the structural influences on the confusing issue of race in the United States.”

Melissa Buice
West Virginia Wesleyan College

“An ideal Race and Ethnic Politics textbook… Students will learn a lot, and faculty will find it easy to design their class assignments around the material.”

Terri Jett
Butler University

Uneven Roads is one of the few race and politics textbooks that provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the history surrounding major racial groups coupled with social and political issues related to race in the contemporary United States.”

Camille Burge
Villanova University

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ISBN: 9781506371764