Apple Pie and Enchiladas: Latino Newcomers in the Rural by Ann V. Millard, Jorge Chapa

By Ann V. Millard, Jorge Chapa

The surprising inflow of vital numbers of Latinos to the agricultural Midwest stems from the recruitment of employees by way of nutrition processing crops and small factories arising in rural parts. typically they paintings at back-breaking jobs that neighborhood citizens will not be keen to take as a result low wages and few advantages. The zone has turn into the scene of dramatic switch regarding significant matters dealing with our country--the intertwining of ethnic changes, prejudice, and poverty; the social impression of a low-wage crew caused by company changes; and public coverage questions facing financial improvement, taxation, and welfare funds. during this thorough multidisciplinary research, the authors discover either side of this ethnic divide and supply the 1st quantity to concentration comprehensively on Latinos within the zone through linking demographic and qualitative research to explain what brings Latinos to the world and the way they're being accommodated of their new groups. in truth that many Midwestern groups will be wasting inhabitants and dealing with a dearth of employees if no longer for Latino beginners. This discovering provides one other layer of social and monetary complexity to the region's altering position within the international economic system. The authors examine how Latinos healthy into an already fractured social panorama with tensions between townspeople, farmers, and others. The authors additionally demonstrate the optimism that lies within the competition of many Anglos to ethnic prejudice and racism.

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Extra resources for Apple Pie and Enchiladas: Latino Newcomers in the Rural Midwest

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Sombreros, pottery, weavings, paper flowers, posters of the Tejana singer Selena, and piñatas decorated the walls. A second, large room in the restaurant was the epitome of the sports bar, a type of dining and drinking establishment that became popular in the Midwest in the 1990s—a casual, noisy place serving food at reasonable prices and providing a gathering place with big-screen TVs, tuned to sports channels, sometimes showing expensive pay-per-view contests. The two rooms in the restaurant suggested a rare and sophisticated attempt to appeal broadly to both Latinos and the general Anglo, Midwestern sports enthusiast public.

We also learned of a Latino physician living in the country in Indiana and commuting to a nearby city for work. Otherwise, there were no Latinos in our study with more than a lower-middle-class standard of living, achieved on the basis of a dual-income household. Upward class mobility is part of the history of Latinos who have settled in the rural Midwest, but it has come largely through a few of their children gaining a college education and taking professional jobs in the cities as teachers, social workers, and the like.

Others, with no previous Midwestern experience, move directly to a Midwestern town to work in a specific plant, whether in light industry or food processing. Newcomers of the first type are often Mexican Americans, whereas those of the second type, in many cases, arrive directly from Mexico. Comparison with Rural California Rural areas of the Midwest resemble those in California regarding their mixtures of Latino populations of different national origins and legal statuses. In both regions, some employers recruit workers by ethnicity, nationality, and gender to enforce policies of low wages and benefits (on California, see Menchaca 1995; Ruiz 1987, 1998; Wells 1996; Zavella 1987; see also Chapa 1988, 1995).

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