In her rather succinct and selective sample of under 100 participants, Julie A. Dowling attempts to analyze how and why several dozen individuals chose certain invented “racial categories” and not others. As the author notes, the book is “an exploration of what shapes racial labeling practices for Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants, with particular attention to the disconnect between public and private articulations of race and the role of racial ideology in the process of racial identification” (p. 3). Over the course of six chapters that average around 20 pages a piece, Dowling, who is an associate professor of Latina/Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, argues that “Mexican Americans identify as ‘white’ on the census not because they are accepted as white or even because they see themselves as white. Rather, by reframing the borders of whiteness to include...

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