Cover for SAITO: Race and Politics: Asian Americans, Latinos, and Whites in a Los Angeles Suburb

Race and Politics

Asian Americans, Latinos, and Whites in a Los Angeles Suburb
Awards and Recognition:

Winner of the Book Award given by the American Sociological Association Section on Asia and Asian America.

Navigating a brave new world of multiethnic complexity in southern California

Located a mere fifteen minutes from Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley is an incubator for California's new ethnic politics. Here, Latinos and Asian Americans are the dominant groups. Politics are Latino-dominated, while a large infusion of Chinese immigrants and capital has made the San Gabriel Valley the center of the nation's largest Chinese ethnic economy. The white population, meanwhile, has dropped from an overwhelming majority in 1970 to a minority in 1990.

Leland T. Saito presents an insider's view of the political, economic, and cultural implications of this ethnic mix. He examines how diverse residents of the region have worked to overcome their initial antagonisms and develop new, more effective political alliances.

Tracing grassroots political organization along racial and ethnic lines, Race and Politics focuses on the construction of new identities in general and the panethnic affiliation "Asian American" in particular.


"Saito has accomplished much in advancing our theoretical understanding of multi-racial America. As a scholar-activist, he has been able to overcome a common weakness of community activists, who usually lack the time, the writing skills, and the intellectual grounding or theoretical breakthrough. His is a rare achievement in the field of social sciences."--Journal of Asian American Studies


Leland T. Saito is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Southern California. He is the author of The Politics of Exclusion: The Failure of Race-Neutral Policies in Urban America.

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