Douglas S. Massey
Racialization is a social process by which meanings and attributions are attached to inherited characteristics, typically for purposes of exploitation and exclusion. Latinos were historically relegated to the margins of U.S. society by specific policies and practices. New processes of racialization have emerged with the upsurge in Latino immigration since 1970, varying with the shifting legal status and national origins of the population. These new processes of racialization are pushing the social and economic well-being of Latinos in the United States down the status hierarchy to a new position at the bottom of the socioeconomic distribution.