Transborder Lives Indigenous Oaxacans in Mexico, California, and Oregon

ISBN-10: 0822339900
ISBN-13: 9780822339908
Edition: 2007
Authors: Lynn Stephen
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Description: Lynn Stephen's innovative ethnography follows indigenous Mexicans from two towns in the state of Oaxaca--the Mixtec community of San Agustin Atenango and the Zapotec community of Teotitlan del Valle--who periodically leave their homes in Mexico for  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 6/13/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Lynn Stephen's innovative ethnography follows indigenous Mexicans from two towns in the state of Oaxaca--the Mixtec community of San Agustin Atenango and the Zapotec community of Teotitlan del Valle--who periodically leave their homes in Mexico for extended periods of work in California and Oregon. Demonstrating that the line separating Mexico and the United States is only one among the many borders that these migrants repeatedly cross (including national, regional, cultural, ethnic, and class borders and divisions), Stephen advocates an ethnographic framework focused on transborder, rather than transnational, lives. Yet she does not disregard the state: She assesses the impact migration has had on local systems of government in both Mexico and the United States as well as the abilities of states to police and affect transborder communities. Stephen weaves the personal histories and narratives of indigenous transborder migrants together with explorations of the larger structures that affect their lives. Taking into account U.S. immigration policies and the demands of both commercial agriculture and the service sectors, she chronicles how migrants experience and remember low-wage work in agriculture, landscaping, and childcare and how gender relations in Oaxaca and the United States are reconfigured by migration. She looks at the ways that racial and ethnic hierarchies inherited from the colonial era--hierarchies that debase Mexico's indigenous groups--are reproduced within heterogeneous Mexican populations in the United States. Stephen provides case studies of four grass-roots organizations in which Mixtec migrants are involved, and she considers specific uses of digital technologyby transborder communities. Ultimately Stephen demonstrates that transborder migrants are reshaping notions of territory and politics by developing creative models of governance, education, and economic development as well as ways of maintaining their cultures and languages across geographic distances.

Illustrations and Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Approaches to Transborder Lives
Transborder Communities in Political and Historical Context: Views from Oaxaca
Mexicans in California and Oregon
Transborder Labor Lives: Harvesting, Housecleaning, Gardening, and Childcare
Surveillance and Invisibility in the Lives of Indigenous Farmworkers in Oregon
Women's Transborder Lives: Gender Relations in Work and Families
Navigating the Borders of Racial and Ethnic Hierarchies
Grassroots Organizing in Transborder Lives
Transborder Ethnic Identity Construction in Life and on the Net: E-Mail and Web Page Construction and Use
Conclusions
Epilogue: Notes on Collaborative Research
Notes
Works Cited
Index

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