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Re-Placing Southern Geographies: The Role of Latino Migration in Transforming the South, Its Identities, and Its Study

From: Southeastern Geographer
Volume 51, Number 2, Summer 2011
pp. 342-358 | 10.1353/sgo.2011.0022



This manuscript argues that southern geographies are being re-placed materially, discursively, and institutionally through Latino migration. Drawing on ethnographic research in Nashville and scholarship on Latino migration to the South, it shows, first, how southern geographies are being re-placed materially, as southern neighborhoods are transformed by Latino residents. These changes, I suggest, locate new and old place-claims at the center of the South’s immigration politics. Second, the manuscript illustrates how southern geographies are being re-placed discursively, as the South is skipped in Latino and long-term residents’ narrations of community change. The South’s absence in these narratives may reconfigure what southern identity means and how it is formed and transformed. Finally, the manuscript notes that southern geographies are being re-placed institutionally, as other disciplines begin to study Latino migration to the South. Latino migration to southern locales touches nearly every theme southern geographers examine and, thus, merits increased attention from them.

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