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Title:Home making in small-town America: Mexican and Latina/o diasporas and citizenship practices in the Midwest
Author(s):Acosta, Aide
Director of Research:Lugo, Alejandro
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lugo, Alejandro
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Manalansan, Martin F.; Rana, Junaid; Torres, Arlene; Vélez-Ibáñez, Carlos G.
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Home Making in Small-town America is an ethnographic study on recent Mexican migration to rural communities of east-central Illinois, and traces the cultural bases of a diasporic community in the context of citizenship and immigration debates. I examine how immigrants transform their world around them and use memory and nostalgia to construct their new lives in the Midwest. While Mexicans have often been theoretically and analytically situated within the borderlands – the geo-political and metaphorical spaces along the U.S./Mexico border, I argue that a theoretical framework of diaspora, which connects multiple communities of dispersed populations, is fruitful in understanding the ways in which Mexican immigrants maintain and (re)create, through acts of cultural citizenship, a sense of homeland and of belonging in new immigrant destinations such as the rural Midwest. At the turn of the new millennium, Latina/o migrants are making home new destinations. At the same time, these shifts have caused wide-spread panic in fear of the immigrant Other. In a post-9/11 America, immigrants have faced increased repression through policy, violence, and heightened vigilance. Yet, through diasporic practice and home making, Mexicans/Latinos settle in new destinations, and contribute with their labor and lives to the re-making of small-town America. In doing so they invoke memory, nostalgia, and love as the heartland is transformed.
Issue Date:2010-08-31
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Aide Acosta
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-31
Date Deposited:August 201

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