Mexican Experiences of Immigration
Publication Year: 1994
Hondagneu-Sotelo argues that people do not migrate as a result of concerted household strategies, but as a consequence of negotiations often fraught with conflict in families and social networks. Migration and settlement transform long-held ideals and lifestyles. Traditional patterns are reevaluated, and new relationships—often more egalitarian—emerge. Women gain greater personal autonomy and independence as they participate in public life and gain access to both social and economic influence previously beyond their reach.
Bringing to life the experiences of undocumented immigrants and delineating the key role of women in newly established communities, Gendered Transitions challenges conventional assumptions about gender and migration. It will be essential reading for demographers, historians, sociologists, and policymakers.
"I've opened my eyes. Back there, they say 'no.' You marry, and no, you must stay home. Here, it's different. You marry, and you continue working. Back in Mexico, it's very different. There is very much machismo in those men."—A Mexican woman living in the United States
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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I could not have written this book without the generous help of manypeople. First and foremost, I am grateful to the people in the "Oakview"community who allowed me into their private lives and histories. Notonly did I learn a lot from them, but my life has been enriched by theirfriendship, and I regret that they must remain anonymous. As I con-...
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On a weekday evening in November 1986, I attended a public forumheld at a community center where I'd once worked. Over three hundredpeople, adults and children, had crammed into the multipurpose roomto learn about the then-recently passed Immigration Reform and Con-trol Act. The audience sat on folding chairs or stood in the aisles and...
Table of Study Participants
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...1. Year of departure refers to date when noninterrupted stay in the U.S. began(excepting vacations and visits to Mexico). In most cases, this refers to the lastyear of departure from Mexico. Some of the respondents had departed for andarrived in the U.S. earlier, but had remained temporarily and returned to Mex-ico. For example, Eudoro and Teresa Ibarra had come to Oakview in 1969 and...
1. Immigration, Gender, and Settlement
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I came in 1975 just to stay for a spell, at least that's what I thought. Onethinks that it's so easy to come, make a little money, and then return to Mex-ico to put up a little store and maintain oneself with that—that was my think-ing when my sister invited me to join her. I wanted to get out from my father'sthumb, to make something for myself, but my idea was not to leave forever...
2. The History of Mexican Undocumented Settlement in the United States
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Early in my research in the Oakview barrio I heard a poignant cliche:"It's not Mexicans but California that migrated to the United States."This simple statement refers to the fact that prior to 1848, Mexicoincluded what is today the southwestern region of the United States, sothat subsequent Mexican immigrants and their descendants found them-...
3. The Oakview Barrio
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Mexican immigrant women and men are often referred to as "pools ofimmigrant labor" or as "migrant streams" or "waves" responding solelyto economic currents; such phrases provide a picture which flattens thevaried contexts and experiences of migration.1 This depersonalized lan-guage says little about the primary actors and why they behave as they...
4. Gendered Transitions
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..."No, I did not want him to leave," a wife recalls of her husband'sdeparture to go north. "I feared he would leave me and the children foranother woman, but what could I do?" A young man who left his parentsand siblings to seek adventure and dollars in California admits that "myparents would have liked to keep me for as long as possible on the ranch,...
5. Reconstructing Gender through Immigration and Settlement
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After immigration, marriage patterns that once seemed set in stone mayshift as spousal separations, conflicts, and negotiations and new livingand working arrangements change the rules that organize daily life.Compared with patterns prior to migration, many of the immigrantfamilies in this study exhibited more egalitarian gender relations in...
6. Women Consolidating Settlement
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As traditional family patriarchy weakens, immigrant women assumemore active public and social roles, and these activities ultimately ad-vance their families' integration in the United States. In this chapter Iexamine three dimensions of women's activities outside the family, and Iargue that in the aggregate, these activities anchor family settlement....
7. Gendered Immigration
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Every day throughout California and other states, Mexican undocu-mented immigrant families struggle to balance work, family, and com-munity activities. As they work long hours at their jobs, attend churchand school, and relax in the park on Sundays, these women, men, andchildren are building strong ties to their new communities in the United...
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 1994