Becoming Neighbors in a Mexican American Community Power, Conflict, and Solidarity

ISBN-10: 0292701683

ISBN-13: 9780292701687

Edition: 2004

Authors: Gilda L. Ochoa
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Description: "What makes this book remarkable is the quality of the in-depth, ethnographic data the author acquires and uses to provide revealing insights into how both Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants experience the often rough road to mutual understanding and respect. This is a must read for anyone interested in Latinos, immigration, culture and social change, and the future of Califormia and the nation." The Americas "This book offers a provocative analysis of how ethnic identity is constructed and explores the significance Mexican ancestry plays in the lives of Mexican Americans. . . . It is an authoritative text." Martha Menchaca, Professor of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin On the surface, Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants to the United States seem to share a common cultural identity but often make uneasy neighbors. Discrimination and assimilationist policies have influenced generations of Mexican Americans so that some now fear that the status they have gained by assimilating into American society will be jeopardized by Spanish-speaking newcomers. Other Mexican Americans, however, adopt a position of group solidarity and work to better the social conditions and educational opportunities of Mexican immigrants. Focusing on the Mexican-origin, working-class city of La Puente in Los Angeles County, California, this book examines Mexican Americans' everyday attitudes toward and interactions with Mexican immigrantsa topic that has so far received little serious study. Using in-depth interviews, participant observations, school board meeting minutes, and other historical documents, Gilda Ochoa investigates how Mexican Americans are negotiating their relationships with immigrants at an interpersonal level in the places where they shop, worship, learn, and raise their families. This research into daily lives highlights the centrality of women in the process of negotiating and building communities and sheds new light on identity formation and group mobilization in the U.S. and on educational issues, especially bilingual education. It also complements previous studies on the impact of immigration on the wages and employment opportunities of Mexican Americans.

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Book details

List price: $27.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 3/1/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 284
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

List of Illustrations
Introducing Becoming Neighbors
Theorizing about Mexican American-Mexican Immigrant Relations in "Occupied Mexico"
"Where the Past Meets the Future": Centering La Puente
"This Is Who I Am": Negotiating Racial/Ethnic Constructions
"Between a Rock and a Hard Place, with No Easy Answers": Structuring Conflict
"We Can't Forget Our Roots": Building Solidarity
Constructing Puentes: Mexican American and Mexican Immigrant Mobilization
Revisiting and Envisioning the Processes of Becoming Neighbors
The Politics of Research
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