Rural Mexican Americans, Another America
Publication Year: 1995
Mexican Americans make up the largest minority in Idaho, yet they seemingly live in a different world from the dominant Anglo population, and because of pervasive stereotypes and exclusive policies, their participation in the community's social, economic, and political life is continually impeded.
This unique ethnographic study of a small Idaho community with a large Hispanic population examines many dimensions of the impact race relations have on everyday life for rural Mexican Americans.
Published by: Utah State University Press
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In Small Town in Mass Society (1968), Vidich and Bensman advanced the thesis that industrialism had progressed to the point where beliefs and ways of life in the United States are becoming homogeneous regardless of region or size of community. Therefore, since racial attitudes may be quite similar in Middlewest, Boise, and elsewhere in America, it is my view that this community study may be able to inform ...
1. Overview of Field Research and Theoretical Models
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I undertook this research project because Mexican Americans are the largest minority in the state of Idaho, yet no major studies of Mexican Americans in Idaho exist. Also, a number of racial conflicts developed in 1989 and 1991, heightening the need for such a study. The Boise newspaper, The Idaho Statesman, and the Idaho Commission on Mexican American Affairs reported on racial incidents which occurred in several Idaho communities. The most publicized conflict occurred when the u.s. Attorney ...
2. The Anglo Community of Middlewest
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Middlewest has two distinct communities, one Mexican American and one Anglo. The two communities share considerable social interaction but everyone recognizes their fundamental separation. The social interaction between the two communities has negative as well as positive connotations. The reason for researching the Anglo community is that, as the dominant group, its behavior ...
3. Mexican American Culture and Daily Life
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The Mexican Americans of Middlewest and Farm County have a rich and multifaceted culture. A few unpublished reports have examined certain aspects of their role in the early settlement of the state, but there is no written history of Mexican Americans in Idaho. In the nineteenth century, a few Mexican ...
4. Mexican American Leaders Defend Their Culture and People
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From the previous chapter we saw that the Mexican Americans of Middlewest have their own culture. Most Mexican Americans work for Anglo owners and managers of businesses, factories, and government departments. Mexican American children attend schools controlled by Anglo teachers ...
5. The Anglo Working Class and Anglo Farmers
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Durring the fourth phase of my field research, I interviewed thirty-five Anglo working-class residents of Middlewest. Most worked in factories or in unskilled occupations; however, I attempted to obtain interviews from as many different workingclass occupations as possible. Most of the subjects interviewed worked in food processing plants, trailer factories, woodproducts mills, and other small construction-related businesses. Additional interviews involved subjects from the following ...
6. Permanent Working Class Mexicans
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This chapter will examine the three types of working-class Mexican Americans who live permanently in Middlewest: seasonal workers, factory workers, and the working poor. The family histories of permanent Mexican Americans in Middlewest show that most families first came to Idaho as migrant workers. Only three generations of Mexican Americans have lived in Idaho. I asked local Mexican Americans how and why they exited the migrant stream. Most migrant parents ...
7. Mexican American Migrant Workers
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Research and publications concerning Mexican Americans in Idaho are nearly nonexistent. The research amounts to an M.A. thesis (Reilly 1976) on Mexican American dropouts in one school in addition to a few state and federal reports on the housing conditions of Mexican American migrant workers. Historians, induding Ourada (1979) and Gamboa (1990), have also ...
8. Institutionalized Racism as Part of the Exploitive Model
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This chapter will focus on the social institutions of Middlewest and how they function to exclude Mexican Americans from full participation in local society, thereby maintaining them in a colonial status. More than a decade ago sociologists developed the concept of institutionalized racism-a situation where a social institution operates, intentionally or unintentionally, to deny opportunities to minority groups. Such a situation assists in the maintaining of minorities in a subordinate ...
9. The Education Institution
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When contemplating field research one never knows which social relationships will be the most important for the study. In this study, research on the schools produced my greatest insight into Mexican American-Anglo relations in Middlewest. Both the quantity and quality of data collected on the schools was the result of my greater opportunity to observe the social interactions ...
10. Conclusions and Recommendations
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America's race problem is a stubborn and constant factor in American history. Thomas Jefferson, while owning 200 slaves, spoke eloquently in behalf of creating a society based on liberty and equality (Onuf 1992). This incongruity was well characterized in the classical sociological work of Myrdal in An American Dilemma (1975), in which he contrasted the treatment ...
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Publication Year: 1995