Author to discuss book 'Generations of Exclusion' at UTSA Feb. 25

Telles

Drawing from cover of Edward Telles' book

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(Feb. 22, 2010)--The UTSA Office of the President, the UTSA Mexico Center and the College of Liberal and Fine Arts Department of Sociology will host author and Princeton sociology professor Edward Telles speaking on his book, "Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation and Race." Free and open to the public, the lecture is 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25 in the Durango Building Southwest Room (1.124) at the UTSA Downtown Campus.

Telles co-authored "Generations of Exclusion" with UCLA sociology professor Vilma Ortiz while he was a faculty member at UCLA. The project began in the late 90s when UCLA researchers found a batch of completed surveys administered to Mexican Americans in 1965. Viewing an opportunity, Telles and Ortiz contacted the original survey respondents and their children four decades later. Their responses led to a long-term analysis of Mexican-American integration into United States society.

During interviews with the subjects of the 1965 survey, Telles and Ortiz solicited information about their subjects' demographics, education, immigration to the United States, employment, family dynamics, beliefs, children, financial status and perceived socioeconomic status.

When the researchers interviewed the children of the men and women surveyed in 1965, they collected similar information as well as descriptions of their subjects' childhood neighborhoods, language preferences, music preferences, political opinions and experiences with discrimination. Telles and Ortiz also asked them questions about their parents and the factors they considered crucial in raising their own children or young family members.

Although Telles and Ortiz' findings suggest that most second-generation Mexican Americans are proficient in English, they found that educational access remains substandard in many Mexican-American communities. Because many second-generation Mexican-American families stay in the same geographical areas where they first settled, they have been unable to advance their socioeconomic status. Those challenges are compounded by discrimination and unfavorable immigration policies, which tend to affect subsequent generations.

"Generations of Exclusion" received numerous awards including the Distinguished Book Award from the Pacific Sociological Association in 2009 and the Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association's Latino Section Award the same year. The book is available from the Russell Sage Foundation and Barnes and Noble and is available in Spanish as "Generaciones de Exclusion: Mexicano-Estadounidenses, Asimilacion y Raza."

For more information, contact Olivia Lopez, UTSA Mexico Center, at 210-458-2923.