An American Story: Mexican American Entreprenuership and Wealth Creation

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An American Story: Mexican American Entreprenuership and Wealth Creation
Purdue University Press

Book Description

In an atmosphere where the Mexican American population is viewed in terms of immigrant labor, this edited book examines the strong tradition of wealth creation and business creation within this population. In the introduction, readers are presented with enterprises such as Latin Works and Real Links, which represent large, successful, and middle-size businesses. Chapters span research methods and units of analysis, utilizing archival data, ethnographic data, and the analysis of traditional census data to disaggregate gender and more broadly examine questions of business formation. From the chapters emerges a picture of problems overcome, success, and contemporary difficulties in developing new businesses. Analysis reveals how Mexican American entrepreneurs compare with other ethnic groups as they continue to build their ventures. This work is a refreshing alternative to books that focus on the labor aspects of the Mexican American experience. Contributors reveal the strong history of self-help and entrepreneurship of this population.

Book Reviews

Choice June 2010 Vol. 47 No. 10 An American story: Mexican American entrepreneurship and wealth creation, ed. by John Sibley Butler, Alfonso Morales, and David L. Torres. Purdue, 2009. 204p bibl ISBN 9781557535481, $44.95 This edited volume, the product of a 2008 conference at the University of Texas and sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation, examines Mexican American entrepreneurship and wealth creation. This contrasts with most research on Mexican Americans, which has primarily examined the experiences of immigrant laborers. Chapters draw from the data sources and research methods available to analyze the issues involved in business formation and business success in the immigrant context. Contributors examine a range of factors related to business ownership among Mexican Americans (e.g., geographic considerations, issues of race, English proficiency) and also explore women's success in this context. While the topic of this volume might seem to have limited interest within the academic community, it is more generalizable than initially obvious. The relationship between ethnic origin and business formation has been a relevant issue for more than two thousand years, dating back at least to the foreign establishments of Assyrian merchants, and is a significant topic with respect to the growth and vitality of the US economy. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and professionals. --L. W Young, Southern Oregon University

About the Editor(s):

John Sibley Butler is professor of management and sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research areas are organizational science, with special emphasis on military and entrepreneurial organizations. He has published extensively in professional journals. His books include Immigrant and Minority Entrepreneurship: The Continuous Rebirth of American Society (with George Kozmetsky), All That We Can Be: Black Leadership the Army Way (with Charles C. Moskos), and Entrepreneurship and Self-Help Among Black Americans: A Reconsideration of Race and Economics.

Alfonso Morales is the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture. He is interested in the relationship among thinking, interaction, and social organization. He has authored, edited, or coauthored more than one hundred articles and book chapters and six books.

David L. Torres is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Commerce Degree Program at the University of Arizona South. His work in the area of Latino wealth creation includes a chapter, “Latino/Hispanic Business in the United States” (Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, Society, Grolier Academic Reference, Amherst, MA, 2005), and articles “The Quest for Power: Hispanic Collective Action in Frontier Arizona” (Perspectives in Mexican American Studies, 1992), “How do Small Businesses Grow?: Linear versus Chaotic Effects of Growth on Performance Ratios of Minority Businesses” (Latino Studies Journal, 1990), and “Dynamics Behind the Formation of a Business Class” (Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 1990), among others.