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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2009

GOV 370K • Latino Politics

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39275 MW
4:30 PM-6:00 PM
MEZ B0.306
Leal, D

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the political experiences of the Latino peoples of the United States in both the present and the past. The course begins with a discussion of political identity: what does it mean to be Latino, Hispanic, or Chicano, and what are the politically relevant commonalities and differences in Latino communities. We then discuss Latino political history, starting with the Spanish empire but focusing particularly on the 19th and 20th centuries in Texas and the southwest. In doing so, we will study Latino political movements, organizations, and important individuals. Moving to recent decades, the class examines Latino inputs into the American political system - particularly public opinion, voting, and the role of gender in politics. The class also discusses the two largest non-Mexican national-origin groups in the U.S.: Puerto Ricans and Cuban Americans. We also explore the growing voice of Latinos in political institutions, such as the U.S. Congress and state legislatures. Lastly, the class covers key policy issues for Latino communities, particularly education and immigration.

Grading Policy

A midterm constitutes 30% of your grade and a final constitutes 40%. They are designed to test your understanding and knowledge of the concepts and facts in the lectures and readings. 20% of your grade is based on a writing assignment, and the remaining 10% is based on class participation and engagement.


Garcia, F. Chris, and Gabriel Sanchez. 2007. Hispanics and the U.S. Political System: Moving Into the Mainstream. New York: Prentice Hall. Gutierrez, David. 1995. Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Identity. Berkeley: University of California Press.


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