Honors Theses

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Simone Delerme

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Taking into consideration the South’s historic black-white racial binary, this multi-media research project documents the place-specific experiences of 23 Latinos living in Oxford, Mississippi, using anthropologic methods. A digital archive accompanies the written thesis. Through interdisciplinary methods, this research examines and seeks to understand how the Latino community is conforming to or challenging the staunch view of race and identity in the U.S. South, where race is and has always been at the forefront of culture and society. Through knowing the history of race in the South and understanding the black-white racial binary, the presence of Latinos is creating space for a “separate” or “third” racial or ethnic category in a region so invested in the construct of black or white. Based on their experiences, the U.S. Census data, and other case studies about Latino migration and settlements in the South, the conclusion can be drawn that race is slowly becoming less stagnant and more of a spectrum to measure one’s identity; however, these interviews show how Latinos are racialized in social, academic, and personal settings by people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. No one group is immune to receiving or distributing racialization; however, for those who do not explicitly identify or fit into the racial categories of black or white, racialization becomes ubiquitous.

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