Thanx for the input. I'm looking forward to reading that Brettel article. I like Brettel already.
I was wondering if anyone has had experience in their work concerning this issue though. It doesn't have to be in the US. Personally, I've been looking at how the influx of Hispanic residents has affected the social networks of both black and multi-generational Hispanic residents in lower income neighborhoods. It hasn't been without friction, especially as traditionally black schools transition to becoming Hispanic schools.
I am very interested. The only one I know is Ethnicity Inc., which I have not fully read. Thank you, and yes, I am also talking about the broad historical processes that have lead to the production of ethnicity. In the US this history is largely, I think, veiled within a certain narrative. I think many people would be very surprised, for example, that in the early 20th century the US census counted the Irish and Italians as "non-white," while those coming from Latin America were counted as "white." I find that in popular discourse ethnicity is something that is decontextualized from the economic and political forces that shape it.