restricted access The Formation of a Hispanic Enclave in Nashville, Tennessee

In the past two decades, Nashville, Tennessee has emerged as a new destination for Hispanic immigrants moving into the American South. Many of these newcomers have chosen to reside in the southeast section of the city in neighborhoods adjacent to two main thoroughfares—Nolensville and Murfreesboro Pikes. Residential clustering has fostered the development of various Hispanic-oriented businesses and services throughout southeast Nashville. In this article, I assert that the concentration of Hispanic residents and businesses in southeast Nashville has formed an ethnic enclave. Based on findings collected through an intensive qualitative approach, I argue that the creation of this enclave, complete with Hispanic businesses, organizations, and churches, interferes with the integration of Hispanics into the local community. The results of this study indicate that many Hispanics immigrants (both authorized and unauthorized) choose to operate almost entirely within this enclave which in turn reduces their involvement with members of the host society and slows down the acquisition of the English language. In many cases, this choice is based on language and perceived differences in culture between Hispanics and Anglos; however, interviews and conversations with younger Hispanic immigrants reveal that discriminatory public policies may lead Hispanic immigrants to adopt a strategy of self-segregation as a means of avoiding police harassment.