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culture, confianza, and economy of Mexican-origin populations
They are known as cundinas or tandas in Mexico, and for many people these local savings-and-loan operations play an indispensable role in the struggle to succeed in today's transborder economy. With this extensively researched book, Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez updates and expands upon his major 1983 study of rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs), incorporating new data that reflect the explosion of Mexican-origin populations in the United States. Much more than a study of one economic phenomenon though, the book examines the way in which these practices are part of greater transnational economies and how these populations engage in--and suffer through--the twenty-first century global economy.
Central to the ROSCA is the cultural concept of mutual trust, or confianza. This is the cultural glue that holds the reciprocal relationship together. As Vélez-Ibáñez explains, confianza "shapes the expectations for relationships within broad networks of interpersonal links, in which intimacies, favors, goods, services, emotion, power, or information are exchanged." In a border region where migration, class movement, economic changes, and institutional inaccessibility produce a great deal of uncertainty, Mexican-origin populations rely on confianza and ROSCAs to maintain a sense of security in daily life. How do transborder people adapt these common practices to meet the demands of a global economy? That is precisely what Vélez-Ibáñez investigates.
The Americanization of Modern Mexico
The influx of Mexican immigrants to the United States throughout the years has impacted our culture, labor force, and economy. Often these individuals are blamed for the perceived ills they bring to this country. Yet few people ever consider the profound influence that the United States has on Mexico. In this first book to view modern Mexico in the era of NAFTA and globalization, In the Shadow of the Giant offers insight into the land on our southern border.What we find is a nation that looks more like the United States than even Mexicans themselves could have imagined a decade ago: Rates of obesity are second only to the United States among the world's industrialized countries. Recreational drug use is soaring among young Mexicans Citigroup owns the largest bank in Mexico Wal-Mart is the country's biggest private employer revealing a vastly different physical and cultural landscape from his days as a young journalist living in Mexico in the mid-1980s, Joseph Contreras tracks the relentless and ongoing Americanization of his ancestral home. Although these changes may seem a natural part of globalization, the country had long prided itself on the social, political, economic and even spiritual differences that distinguished it from the United States. In addition to embracing our virtues and vices, Contreras argues that our southern neighbor has become a de facto economic colony of the United States.At a time when immigration looms as a leading hot-button issue in American politics, the time is ripe for examining our influences, for better or worse, on our neighbor to the south.
Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam
Decolonization, the Andes, and the Question of Technology
Focusing on films from Bolivia, Ecuador and Columbia, Indianizing Film encourages readers to consider how indigenous media contributes to a wider understanding of decolonization and anticolonial study against the universal backdrop of the twenty-first century. Through questions of gender, power, and representation Schiwy argues that, instead of solely creating entertainment, through their work indigenous media activists are building communication networks that encourage interaction between diverse cultures. As a result, mainstream images are retooled, permitting communities to strengthen their cultures and express their own visions of development and modernization.
Race, Religion, and Migration in the U.S. Midwest
Examining how encounters produced by migration lead to intimacies-ranging from sexual, spiritual, and neighborly to hateful and violent, Jane Juffer considers the significant changes that have occurred in small towns following an influx of Latinos to the Midwest.
Intimacy across Borders situates the story of the Dutch Reformed Church in Iowa and South Africa within a larger analysis of race, religion, and globalization. Drawing on personal narrative, ethnography, and sociopolitical critique, Juffer shows how migration to rural areas can disrupt even the most thoroughly entrenched religious beliefs and transform the schools, churches, and businesses that form the heart of small-town America. Conversely, such face-to-face encounters can also generate hatred, as illustrated in the increasing number of hate crimes against Latinos and the passage of numerous anti-immigrant ordinances.
Juffer demonstrates how Latino migration to new areas of the U.S. threatens certain groups because it creates the potential for new kinds of families—mixed race, mixed legal status, and transnational—that challenge the conservative definition of community based on the racially homogeneous, coupled, citizen family.
Returning to Jewish Cuba
Yiddish-speaking Jews thought Cuba was supposed to be a mere layover on the journey to the United States when they arrived in the island country in the 1920s. They even called it “Hotel Cuba.” But then the years passed, and the many Jews who came there from Turkey, Poland, and war-torn Europe stayed in Cuba. The beloved island ceased to be a hotel, and Cuba eventually became “home.” But after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, the majority of the Jews opposed his communist regime and left in a mass exodus. Though they remade their lives in the United States, they mourned the loss of the Jewish community they had built on the island.
As a child of five, Ruth Behar was caught up in the Jewish exodus from Cuba. Growing up in the United States, she wondered about the Jews who stayed behind. Who were they and why had they stayed? What traces were left of the Jewish presence, of the cemeteries, synagogues, and Torahs? Who was taking care of this legacy? What Jewish memories had managed to survive the years of revolutionary atheism?
An Island Called Home is the story of Behar’s journey back to the island to find answers to these questions. Unlike the exotic image projected by the American media, Behar uncovers a side of Cuban Jews that is poignant and personal. Her moving vignettes of the individuals she meets are coupled with the sensitive photographs of Havana-based photographer Humberto Mayol, who traveled with her.
Together, Behar’s poetic and compassionate prose and Mayol’s shadowy and riveting photographs create an unforgettable portrait of a community that many have seen though few have understood. This book is the first to show both the vitality and the heartbreak that lie behind the project of keeping alive the flame of Jewish memory in Cuba.
Transnational Community and Identity
In Jalos, USA, Alfredo Mirandé explores migration between the Mexican town of Jalostotitlán, Jalisco, and Turlock, California, and shows how migrants retain a primal identity with their community of origin. The study examines how family, gender, courtship, religion, and culture promote a Mexicanized version of the “American Dream” for la gente de Jalos. After introducing traditional theories of migration and describing a distinctly circular migration pattern between Jalos and Turlock, Mirandé introduces a model of transnationalism. Residents move freely back and forth across the border, often at great risk, adopting a transnational village identity that transcends both the border and conventional national or state identities. Mirandé’s findings are based on participant observation, ethnographic field research, and captivating in-depth personal interviews conducted on both sides of the border with a wide range of respondents. To include multiple perspectives, Mirandé conducts focus group interviews with youth in Jalos and Turlock, as well as interviews with priests and social service providers. Together, these data provide both a rich account of experiences as well as assessments of courtship practices and problems faced by contemporary migrants. Jalos, USA is written in an accessible style that appeals to students and scholars of Latino and migration studies, policy makers, and laypersons interested in immigration, the border, and transnational migration.