The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981 Page: 267
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doors to eager young history majors wanting to write and teach about
their own people. Now, that generation of scholars is beginning to pro-
duce the kind of work that Mexican American students demanded dur-
ing the turbulent sixties. Professor Camarillo's Chicanos in a Chang-
ing Society is the first important product of that generation and
Professor Barrera's Race and Class in the Southwest is the first major
synthesis of articles and dissertations published by that group of Chi-
cano scholars. Many more such works will be forthcoming.
Professor Camarillo's work, which covers the period 1848-1930, is a
social history of Mexican Americans in Santa Barbara, California, with
comparative glances at Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Bernardino.
The study has several objectives: to explain the major developments
that produced the basic socio-economic and political relationship be-
tween Anglos and Californios; to study the formation of Chicano
urban barrios and examine the external and internal factors that
shaped the lives of Chicanos in Southern California; and to look into
the origins and evolution of the Chicano working class, the role of
Mexican Americans within the capitalist labor market, and the occu-
pational status of Mexican workers on the eve of the Great Depression.
Employing techniques used by other students of the new urban, labor,
and quantitative history, Camarillo provides a meticulous survey of
Chicanos in Southern California, relating the story of barrioization,
accommodation, resistance, proletarianization, immigration, and cul-
tural persistence. He finds that, contrary to traditional historical asser-
tions, the subordination of the Chicanos was due not so much to a clash
of cultures, as to the growth of the American capitalist system during
the late nineteenth century. Such an economic order locked Cali-
fornios into the status of a predominantly unskilled/semi-skilled work-
Professor Barrera's book addresses itself to the question of racial and
class divisions in all of the American Southwest. Looking specifically
at the economic foundations of social stratification, Barrera utilizes the
several works written by the new generation of Chicano scholars to pro-
vide a theoretical explanation for the subordination of Mexican Amer-
icans. In a historical overview of race and class as it applies to Chicanos,
Barrera demonstrates that the movement of Anglo Americans into the
Southwest was capitalist motivated, that land speculators, developers,
and large companies profited from land dispossession, and that such
large employers then subordinated Chicanos into a colonial labor
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981, periodical, 1980/1981; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101225/m1/303/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.