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Latinos in New England

Andres Torres

Publication Year: 2006

More than one million Latinos now live in New England. This is the first book to examine their impact on the region's culture, politics, and economics. At the same time, it investigates the effects of the locale on Latino residents' lives, traditions, and institutions.Employing methodologies from a variety of disciplines, twenty-one contributors explore topics in three broad areas: demographic trends, migration and community formation, and identity and politics. They utilize a wide range of approaches, including oral histories, case studies, ethnographic inquiries, focus group research, surveys, and statistical analyses. From the "Dominicanization" of the Latino community in Waterbury, Connecticut, to the immigration experiences of Brazilians in Massachusetts, from the influence of Latino Catholics on New England's Catholic churches to the growth of a Latino community in Providence, Rhode Island, the essays included here contribute to a new and multifaceted view of the growing Pan-Latino presence in the birthplace of the United States.

Published by: Temple University Press

Front Matter

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pp. v-vi

Tables and Figures

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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-x

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Latinos in New England:An Introduction

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pp. 1-22

When the United States declared war on Mexico, more than a century and half ago, did anyone imagine that this act would ultimately bond this country into a permanent relation with our southern neighbor? It was a war of conquest, supported by the logic of Manifest ...

Part I

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1. Latino New England: An Emerging Demographic and Economic Portrait

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pp. 25-51

Three recent demographic developments have generated concerns about the likelihood of continued historic immigrant socioeconomic integration, and more generally, of future ethno-racial relations in the United States.1 First, approximately 30 million new foreign-born residents (immigrants ...

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2. Immigration Status, Employment,and Eligibility for Public Benefits among Latin American Immigrants in Massachusetts

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pp. 53-78

The movement of people—and their adaptation and integration to a new society—remains a topic as timely and as fascinating as the first time that historians and sociologists began to document it. In the case of Massachusetts, long an area of concentration for new immigrants, ...

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3. Latino Shelter Poverty in Massachusetts

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pp. 79-99

Latinos experience the greatest incidence of housing affordability problems of any of the 4 largest racial/ethnic groups in Massachusetts.1 Over three out of five Latino renters and nearly one out of three Latino home owners are ‘‘shelter poor’’—experiencing so great a squeeze between their ...

Part II. Migration and Community Formation

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4. Mofongo Meets Mangu

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pp. 103-123

Connecticut is experiencing a cultural reconfiguration, and Waterbury is literally and figuratively in its middle.1 The state with the highest proportion of Puerto Ricans among its Latinos, the highest per capita ...

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5. Growing into Power in Rhode Island

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pp. 125-147

Although present in the state since the 1960s, Rhode Island Latinos erupted into the consciousness of the region in the late 1990s with two critical facts. The first is that the growth of the Latino population in the state had been explosive.1Since 1990, Latinos quadrupled their ...

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6. Quiet Crisis: A Community History of Latinos in Cambridge,Massachusetts

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pp. 149-169

While the foundational work characterizing the earliest stages of the field of Latino studies focused on particular ethnic groups— primarily Mexican Americans/Chicanos and Puerto Ricans, the newer subfield of comparative Latino studies has focused instead on ...

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7. Latinos in New Hampshire:Enclaves, Diasporas, and an Emerging Middle Class

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pp. 171-186

The U.S. Bureau of the Census reports that New Hampshire had 20,489 Latinos at the start of this decade: 1.7 percent of a state with a 95 percent non-Latino White population.1 Massachusetts next door had 430,000 Latinos. Why is this comparatively small Latino group in ...

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8. Brazilians in Massachusetts:Migration, Identity and Work

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pp. 187-201

Brazilian emigration to the United States and Massachusetts grew vigorously between the mid-eighties and the late nineties and continues today. Brazilians have settled in many different cities and towns in the state throughout the last two decades, from the Metrowest area, especially ...

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9. Latino Catholics in New England

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pp. 203-221

References to Catholicism in New England date back to the time of the Puritans and their nonfavorable attitude toward the Roman church. As Thomas H. O’Connor states in his history of Catholics in Boston, ‘‘if the English Puritans who followed John Winthrop to the Shawmut Peninsula ...

Part III

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10. Descriptive Representation, Political Alienation, and Political Trust:The Case of Latinos in Connecticut

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pp. 225-236

A major goal of the black, Chicano, and Puerto Rican civil rights movements was the elimination of electoral obstacles that kept African Americans and Latinos from having a meaningful voice in the governing process. Political activists and organizers believed the articulation of minority ...

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11. Latino Politics in Connecticut:Between Political Representation and Policy Responsiveness

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pp. 248-263

This chapter looks at the role Latinos play in Connecticut politics. It focuses on the state’s three largest cities, which also have the highest Latino concentrations in the state: Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven. The chapter looks at the population and socioeconomic ...

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12. Immigrant Incorporation Among Dominicans in Providence, Rhode Island: An Intergenerational Perspective

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pp. 253-271

This chapter describes and analyzes the ways in which Dominicans are becoming part of American life in the particular context of Providence.1 Through this analysis, it also addresses contemporary debates on the processes and patterns of immigrant incorporation in multiethnic American ...

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13. Politics, Ethnicity, and Bilingual Education in Massachusetts: The Case of Referendum Question 2

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pp. 273-290

The second great wave of immigration to the United States, which began in the mid-1960s, has dramatically changed the ethnic composition of the nation. When the first great wave (1880–1930) reached its peak at the turn of the twentieth century, immigrants were close to 15 percent of the total ...

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14. The Evolving State of Latino Politics in New England

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pp. 291-309

With a new millennium comes the realization that growing Latino communities will alter the American political system. The demographic Latinization of the United States is no longer limited to ...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 311-313

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 315-318


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pp. 319-325

Image Plates

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pp. 326-333

E-ISBN-13: 9781592134182

Publication Year: 2006