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09 Palante Oliva
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09 Palante Oliva

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  • 1. More Blacks, more problems? Challenging explanations of Latino/Black “racial” tensions in school Sonia Oliva UIC Department of Sociology
  • 2. The State of Latino vs. Black Tensions
    • Race wars are “sensationalized”
    • Geographically-specific
    • Occur in schools & neighborhoods
  • 3. Why the tension?
    • Power-Conflict (Blauner 1972; Bonacich 1972; Montejano 1987)
    • Competition (Lieberson 1980; Olzak 1993)
    • Psychosocial (Myrdal 1944; Allport 1954; Pettigrew 1958)
    • Multi-dimensional (Pinderhughes 1993, 1997)
      • Economic structural conditions
      • Racial ideologies and racial belief systems
      • Ethnic and racial identity
  • 4. Other Explanations
    • Interpersonal reasons
    • Respect
    • Violence as gendered
      • Masculinity
  • 5. Purpose
    • Challenge the concept of “racially motivated” violence
    • Examine the process by which a fight stemming from non-racial reasons becomes racialized
  • 6. Methods
    • Year-long ethnographic study in a Chicago Public High School
      • Classrooms
      • Gym
      • Lunchroom
      • Extracurricular activities/athletics
    • 27 structured interviews (teachers, students, faculty, staff) & informal interviews and conversations
  • 7.  
  • 8. The “big fight”
  • 9. Gilberto
    • 1 st Generation Mexican immigrant
    • Popular
    • Friends with Latino gang members of various factions
      • Not a gang member
    • “ School kid”
    • President of the Mexican club
  • 10. Steven
    • 1 st Generation Puerto Rican
    • One of Gilberto’s best friends
    • A former “chief” of a Puerto Rican gang/crew
    • Well-respected in school
  • 11. The Public Apology
  • 12. Retaliation against Mexicans Laughter at Apology Public Apology Gang Leaders Negotiate Attempted Robbery Black Gang vs. Mexican Gang
  • 13. Ambivalence about race as the motive
  • 14. Challenging Explanations of “Racial” Violence
    • “ Racial violence” is multidimensional
      • Race
      • Gangs
      • Masculinity
  • 15. Conclusion/Implications
    • Race is a scapegoat for larger social issues
      • Poverty
      • School Reform
      • Respect in schools