What is it about?
This study attempts to identify and explain why a previously non-existent social category emerged in the first place. We examine the emergence of the Tex-Mex social category for food and cuisine. In studying Tex-Mex food, we present a brief analytical social history of the cuisine starting in Old Mexico and continuing up to contemporary times. We juxtapose the social facts that we report with prevailing theoretical ideas (social-activist theorization and similarity clustering) about category emergence drawn from organization theory.
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Why is it important?
Current theoretical accounts to be incomplete in explaining why Tex-Mex emerged. By contrast, our analysis directs attention to the status dynamics of ethnic majority/minority populations, early inexpensive mass industrialization of the food and certain geographic factors. Casual comparisons to other ethnic food categories appear to support the speculative argument we advance.
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This page is a summary of: Where did “Tex-Mex” come from? The divisive emergence of a social category, Research in Organizational Behavior, October 2017, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.riob.2017.09.003.
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