David T. Abalos
When Latinos in the United States was first published in 1986, it was hailed as a “triumph” by the National Catholic Reporter, “inspiring” by the journal American Studies, and was named an Outstanding Academic Book of the Year by Choice. The book was widely adopted in Latino and ethnic studies classes at colleges and universities throughout the country. Now, in the second edition, David Abalos updates his pioneering application of the transformation theory to key aspects of Latino politics, history, and culture. He draws on examples from everyday human encounters to address specific concerns of both Latino individuals and groups. Among the issues addressed are: the need to maintain Latino family heritage while allowing each member to develop the autonomy necessary to interact both within the family and within American society; the importance of avoiding assimilation; the necessity for Latinos to develop the skills and competence that allow them to enter into America’s business world without losing their commitment to the community; rediscovery of Latino religious symbols of transformation that renew the life of the sacred; and the need to preserve Latino heritage through a strategy of being both American and Latino.
The second edition contains extensive new material. Abalos includes a new section on archetypal analysis. He has added discussions of the relationship between the sacred and the political in American politics, and of assimilation and its effects on the immigrant. He addresses the new wave of migration and what it means to the future of the United States and la comunidad Latina. Abalos has also added a new chapter on the politics of education, which is, he argues, the most important civil rights issue facing the Latino community. The notes and bibliography reflect recent scholarship, especially that of Latina writers and Chicana feminists.
“Professor Abalos is able to bring his original analysis into contemporary issues with the same clarity and depth he offered in his first edition of this book. . . instead of providing us a sociological perspective or a political or theological perspective in the traditional compartmentalized model of academia he provides us with a textured holistic representation of this segment of humanity we call Latinos. . . . This an important and original contribution to knowledge in the field of Latino Studies. It is based on an urgently needed synthesis of a growing body of work done on Latinos that needs to be re-framed and connected to other mainstream sources in sociology, psychology, theology, and political science.” — Victor M. Rodriguez, California State University, Long Beach
“Latinos in the United States has become a classic work that has shaped Latino Studies for over the past decade. In this revised and expanded edition, David T. Abalos remains our introspective and thoughtful teacher who guides us all toward the deepest source of our being in order for us to become whole people as we actively work to transform our nation into a loving and more compassionate multicultural America.” — Alberto Lopez Pulido, University of San Diego
“David T. Abalos’ work is an extraordinarily rich meditation on the most pertinent aspects of the Latino reality today that goes beyond a merely competent social science analysis of America’s largest minority. Abalos integrates solid sociology, politics, anthropology and psychology into an inspiring vision demonstrating where Latinos could be going if the right choices are made. He takes the profoundly spiritual/religious, even mystical dynamics of Latino culture seriously and shows how the Latino future has everything to do with the recognition and renewal of that innate spirituality. This drama will define not only tomorrow’s Latinos but all Americans as well, as the latinoization of the U.S.A. advances. Here is a scholar who wisely goes beyond the Academy’s crusty secularism to embrace the sacred.” — Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J., Loyola Institute for Spirituality
“I hope this revised version will find a ready audience so that Abalos’s theory of transformation can receive the thorough discussion it deserves in the circles of Hispanic theology and Hispanic theological education. . . . This work should be required reading in courses in Latino/a studies and ethnic studies. It also fits well in certain political science courses. Professors teaching religion and religious studies will use the work. The addition of the final chapter extends the readership of the book to include persons involved in the educational attainment of Latinos/as in the U.S. Beyond the traditional classroom, the work will find a ready audience among community organizers and persons involved in social transformation.” — Paul Barton, Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest
“Abalos examines contemporary issues faced by Latinos in the US—family, politics in the community, education, male-female relations, and racism—from the perspective of the theory of transformation. Through this exploration the author offers readers—Latinos in particular—ways to become more whole people actively working to transform the nation into a more compassionate multicultural America.” — Research Book News
“Readers should see this historically situated text as personal ruminations and exhortations from an academic elder and mentor of East Coast Latino/a students—an impassioned plea to his young charges at that time not to forsake their unique identity, culture, religion, and spirituality for the seductive lure of capitalist materialism. Hopefully, today’s young Latino/a college students will resonate with this still worthwhile message of self-empowerment and transformation.” — Choice