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Stagnant Dreamers: How the Inner City Shapes the Integration of Second-Generation Latinos, María G. Rendón

Reviewed by Domingo Morel

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Over the last four decades, economic inequality in the United States has been increasing at an unprecedented rate. Although scholars have shown how this growing inequality has disproportionately affected communities of color, we are only beginning to understand the devastating effects of deindustrialization and the Great Recession on communities of color.

Among the recent works focusing on the conditions of Latinos in the United States is María G. Rendón’s Stagnant Dreamers: How the Inner City Shapes the Integration of Second-Generation Latinos. In this timely and insightful book, Rendón asks, “why [is it] that those who grow up in predominantly Latino and black, lower-income urban communities have a harder time securing a place in the American middle class”? (p. xiv). Rendón accurately points out that social mobility stagnation in American cities is not inevitable. In previous decades, white ethnics, as Rendón and other scholars have noted, were able move up the ladder of social mobility.

To examine this question, Rendón focuses on 42 second-generation Latino men and their families in two neighborhoods in Los Angeles between 2007 and 2013. The timing of the study allows Rendón to examine the lives of these young men and their families before and after the G

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