1st Edition

White Nativism, Ethnic Identity and US Immigration Policy Reforms American Citizenship and Children in Mixed Status, Hispanic Families

By Maria del Mar Farina Copyright 2018
    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    Analysing US immigration and deportation policy over the last twenty years, this book illustrates how US immigration reform can be conceived as a psychological, legal, policy-driven tool which is inexorably entwined with themes of American identity, national belonging and white nativism. Focusing on Hispanic immigration and American-born children of Mexican parentage, the author examines how engrained, historical, individual and collective social constructions and psychological processes, related to identity formation can play an instrumental role in influencing political and legal processes. It is argued that contemporary American immigration policy reforms need to be conceptualized as a complex, conscious and unconscious White Nativist psychological, legal, defence mechanism related to identity preservation and contestation.

    Whilst building on existing theoretical frameworks, the author offers new empirical evidence on immigration processes and policy within the United States as well as original research involving the acculturation and identity development of children of Mexican immigrant parentage. It brings together themes of race, ethnicity and American national identity under a new integrated sociopolitical and psychological framework examining macro and micro implications of recent US immigration policy reform.

    Subsequently this book will have broad appeal for academics, professionals and students who have an interest in political psychology, childhood studies, American immigration policy, constructions of national identity, critical race and ethnic studies, and the Mexican diaspora.


    Chapter 1. Introduction

    (Patrick Dolan, Suzanne Guerin and Claire Hickey)

    Part I: Getting Started

    Chapter 2. Framing Research in Community Settings

    (Elizabeth Nixon & Eylin Palamaro-Munsell)

    Chapter 3. Commissioning, Procuring and Contracting Evaluations and Research

    (Marian Quinn, Catherine Comiskey & Gail Birkbeck)

    Chapter 4. The Governance of Community Research and Evaluation: a Multi-Layered and Negotiated Process

    (Mark Morgan and Siobhan Keegan

    Chapter 5. The Role of the Stakeholder in Applied Research: Managing Expectations and Relationships

    (Nóirín Hayes, Siobhán Keegan, Grainne Hickey & Gráinne Smith)

    Part II: Carrying out Research and Evaluation

    Chapter 6. Developing a Detailed Design for Research with Communities

    (Suzanne Guerin & Catherine Comiskey)

    Chapter 7. What Lies Beneath? Preparing for and Conducting Effective Fieldwork in Community Settings

    (Tara Murphy, Jennie Milnes & Siobhan Keegan)

    Chapter 8. Evaluation of Complex Community Change Initiatives: Credible Evidence is What Counts

    (Morgan O’Brien & Sinéad McGilloway)

    Part III: Dealing with the Data

    Chapter 9.Documenting and Disseminating the findings of Community Research and Evaluation Reports to Key Stakeholders

    (Marian Quinn & Gemma Kiernan)

    Chapter 10. Knowledge Exchange: Informing Policy and Influencing Change

    (Nóirín Hayes & Maresa Duignan)

    Chapter 11. Overcoming the Ethnical and Practical Challenges Associated with Archiving Qualitative and Quantitative Data

    (Tara Murphy, Aileen O’Carroll, Suzanne Guerin & Jane Gray)

    Chapter 12. Conclusion

    (Nóirín Hayes & Catherine Comiskey)



    Maria del Mar Farina is an Assistant Professor at Westfield State University, in Westfield, MA. She completed her doctoral degree at Smith College, School for Social Work, in Northampton, MA, where she went on to become an Adjunct Professor and Assistant Director of Field. She is also a graduate of the MBA program at Western New England College, in Springfield, MA. She maintains a clinical private practice in Holyoke, MA, working primarily with the Latino community. Her work has been presented in the United States and Europe, including in Turkey and Poland, at the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP), and in Italy, at Processes Influencing Democratic Ownership and Participation (PIDOP), part of the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme.

    ‘President Donald Trump’s idea of a wall at the United States-Mexican border, accompanied by his desire to keep Muslims out of America, has led to heated discussions about American Identity and the Other. Maria del Mar Farina’s book is an in-depth analysis of US immigration policy, with an emphasis on deportation reforms enacted since 1996. We learn how this policy has become highly politicized, and how its application has severely hurt many individuals, especially American-born children of Hispanic immigrant parents. This scholarly written, timely work is an important contribution to our understanding of these psychological/political issues that impact our societal well-being.’ - Vamik D. Volkan, M. D., Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Virginia and the author of Immigrants and Refugees: Trauma, Perennial Mourning, and Border Psychology


    'Candidate and now President Trump effectively demonized and denigrated Mexicans as well as Muslims, stoking fear and turning them into a threatening "other" for many white Americans.  Weaving together the history of white nativism and explicating the interaction of psychoanalytic and sociopolitical theory, Maria del Mar Farina de Parada helps us to understand what fuels this process of "othering," the injurious effects on children and families who are members of these targeted groups, the strategies that they use to survive this onslaught and the policies needed to support and protect them.  It is a troubling story but a timely and important book!' - Professor Joshua Miller, Smith College School for Social Work, co-author of Racismin the United States: Implications for the Helping Professions