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Beyond the Borderlands

Beyond the Borderlands: Migration and Belonging in the United States and Mexico

DEBRA LATTANZI SHUTIKA
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Pages: 312
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pnn64
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  • Book Info
    Beyond the Borderlands
    Book Description:

    Over the last three decades, migration from Mexico to the United States has moved beyond the borderlands to diverse communities across the country, with the most striking transformations in American suburbs and small towns. This study explores the challenges encountered by Mexican families as they endeavor to find their place in the U.S. by focusing on Kennett Square, a small farming village in Pennsylvania known as the "Mushroom Capital of the World." In a highly readable account based on extensive fieldwork among Mexican migrants and their American neighbors, Debra Lattanzi Shutika explores the issues of belonging and displacement that are central concerns for residents in communities that have become new destinations for Mexican settlement.Beyond the Borderlandsalso completes the circle of migration by following migrant families as they return to their hometown in Mexico, providing an illuminating perspective of the tenuous lives of Mexicans residing in, but not fully part of, two worlds.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95023-8
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. ONE Introduction: NEW BORDERS AND DESTINATIONS
    (pp. 1-37)

    Although I live in Virginia, far from the U.S.-Mexico border, in 2005 it felt as if the border had moved into my backyard. That summer I watched the situation in Herndon, Virginia, with fascination and an uncanny sense of déjà vu as a controversy erupted regarding a group of Latino men. For over a decade a sizable group of day laborers, many of whom were from Mexico and Central America, had been gathering in the parking lot of Herndon′s 7-Eleven in the early morning, hoping to find work. The space had become an ad hoc employment center for contractors seeking...

  6. TWO “I give thanks to God, after that, the United States”: EVERYDAY LIFE IN TEXTITLÁN
    (pp. 38-67)

    Textitlán sits in the far southwestern corner of the state of Guanajuato. The two-lane road that leads to the pueblo from the airport in Silao winds up and down steep hillsides before entering a wide valley that reveals a vast, sparsely populated countryside. Textitlán borders the pueblo of San Miguel Arcángel,¹ a smaller but older community; the two villages have grown together over the years, so today it is difficult to determine where Textitlán ends and San Miguel Arcángel begins. The pueblos have distinct governments, churches, and identities, however. Textitlán is neither a picturesque Mexican town nor a tourist destination,...

  7. THREE La Casa Vacía: MEANINGS AND MEMORIES IN ABANDONED IMMIGRANT HOUSES
    (pp. 68-90)

    I arrived in Textitlán for the first time in September 1999; I planned to rent a house. My family and I would begin what would become one of many research trips, and I was in need of a modest home that could accommodate us. I was able to find one home, still under construction and lacking a bathroom. The owner told me not to worry; I could walk across the street and shower at his house whenever I wanted. I imagined traipsing my three year-old twins to my landlord′s home every day to bathe and decided to look elsewhere.

    When...

  8. FOUR In the Shadows and Out: MEXICAN KENNETT SQUARE
    (pp. 91-135)

    It is a cloudless fall day in Kennett Square. I find myself with unexpected free time before an interview I have scheduled later this morning. Although the trees are shedding leaves, the wind is warm and whipping through the streets. A steady stream of foot and automobile traffic moves along State Street as local residents come into town to work, meet friends for coffee or lunch, or shop in one of the locally owned boutiques. Kennett Square is a small, prosperous community of some five thousand residents in one of Pennsylvania′s wealthiest counties and reminiscent of those depicted in Norman...

  9. FIVE Bridging the Community: NATIVISM, ACTIVISM, AND THE POLITICS OF BELONGING
    (pp. 136-165)

    To say ″migration changes things″ is to make a statement that is at once a truism and yet vastly understated. At the turn of the century, estimates suggested that approximately 2.3 percent of the world′s population consisted of labor migrants (Andreas and Snyder 2000: 7), a number so small that it was statistically insignificant, yet the influence these mobile laborers had on their natal and settlement communities was remarkable. The reciprocal influence that settlers from western Mexico have had on Kennett Square and that Kennett Square has had on its Mexican settlers is immediately obvious. Migration has afforded a relatively...

  10. SIX There and Back Again: THE PILGRIMAGE OF RETURN MIGRATION
    (pp. 166-202)

    It was three o′clock in the morning on January 23, 2003. Felipe Ortega, my friend and research assistant, was driving me to the airport in León, Guanajuato. We were in a hurry to arrive when the airport opened at five. The previous evening my husband had called to tell me my father was gravely ill and was scheduled to undergo cardiac surgery the following morning. With a nonrefundable ticket in hand, we were headed to the airport so I could plead my case with the ticket agent, hoping that I could find a seat on the first plane out to...

  11. SEVEN The Ambivalent Welcome: CINCO DE MAYO AND THE PERFORMANCE OF LOCAL IDENTITY AND ETHNIC RELATIONS
    (pp. 203-238)

    On May 5, 2002, I drove to Kennett Square with a queasy sense of apprehension. It had been nearly a year since I had completed my full-time fieldwork in this rural farming village. I had taken a job and moved to suburban Washington, DC, and had been back to Kennett only occasionally for fieldwork and to visit, but these trips were infrequent. I was returning to document and observe the second annual Cinco de Mayo. The year before I was in the midst of a move and the start of a new job, and therefore I was unable to attend...

  12. Epilogue
    (pp. 239-248)

    I′m sitting with Doña Elena, as I often do, on her patio this afternoon. It is early May, and the day has been pleasantly warm. I′m in Mexico for a brief visit this time, and although I just arrived Doña Elena is already asking me when I will return. It′s a question she asks every time, but today I stall, hoping to avoid giving her a straightforward answer. Unlike in past years, I′m no longer certain when I′ll be back. My research here is essentially complete, and this visit is simply one to see a dear friend.

    We′ve known each...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 249-274)
  14. References
    (pp. 275-292)
  15. Index
    (pp. 293-299)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 300-300)