An "incomplete" picture? Race, Latino migration, and urban politics in Nashville, Tennessee

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21 Scopus citations


This article examines Latino migration's effects on understandings of race, structures of racial hierarchies, and terms of racial politics in Nashville, Tennessee, a metropolis that has experienced rapid Latino population growth since the mid-1990s. Drawing on an analysis of both a series of interviews with key actors across Nashville and a series of urban controversies in the late 1990s, it queries the contradictory place that Latino/as occupy in metropolitan Nashville's racial formations and practices. On the one hand, Latino/as, as a racially marked group, are ambiguously situated in Nashville's racial categories and hierarchy. On the other hand, key events and political conflicts at least temporarily crystallize Nashville's racial fault lines and alliances, placing Latino/as squarely within debates concerning social justice and racial solidarity. The article concludes by reflecting on the implications of the "incomplete" picture of Latino migration's effects on race and cultural belonging in Nashville and other southern cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-263
Number of pages18
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008


  • Immigration
  • Latino migration
  • Nashville
  • Race
  • Southern U.S. cities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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