Robert C. Smith Wins Prestigious ASA Award for 'Black Mexicans' Article

Professor Robert C. Smith (GC/Baruch, Sociology) was recently named winner of the American Sociological Association’s prestigious Louis Wirth Best Article Award.

Smith's article, titledBlack Mexicans, Conjunctural Ethnicity, and Operating Identities: Long-Term Ethnographic Analysis,” draws on more than 15 years of research to analyze “Black Mexicans” — phenotypically “Mexican-looking” youth who identified as Black during adolescence, used this identity to become upwardly mobile, and then abandoned it in early adulthood.
“Some Mexicans used a Black culture of mobility to become upwardly mobile in the late-1990s and early-2000s in New York, adopting a socially advantaged operating identity that helped them in ways they felt Mexicanness could not in that historical conjuncture, especially given intra-ethnic competition between teen migrants and second-generation youth,” according to the abstract.

The article was published in American Sociological Review in 2014.
A professor of Sociology, Immigration Studies, and Public Affairs, Smith is the author of the award-winning Mexican New York: Transnational Worlds of New Immigrants (University of California Press, 2006), with other books under contract or in development.
He also works closely with nonprofits such as Masa, which promotes educational achievement and committed leadership with Mexican immigrants and their children, and for which he serves as Board Chair.  

Submitted on: JUL 9, 2015

Category: Faculty Awards | General GC News | Sociology