El Paso: Local Frontiers at a Global Crossroads

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Overview

Every marker of social difference can be easily interpreted in the fashionable language of "borderlands"-and if so, as Victor M. Ortiz-Gonzalez reveals, the practical reality of the border region is often grossly misrepresented and its people woefully served. He argues that amid the tantalizing abstractions generated by the sweeping reconfigurations of globalization, people in cities like El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, on the U.S.-Mexican border, are actually living the gritty realities of a new world order.With descriptions of grassroots initiatives to confront the challenges and opportunities that NAFTA represents for the city, El Paso challenges us to acknowledge and address the conceptual and sociopolitical tasks of a world in which abstract representations and nonlocal interests override concrete situations. Ortiz-Gonzalez also provides an in-depth analysis of groups such as La Mujer Obrera, Unite El Paso, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and their attempts to give local residents and workers more autonomy and power. Balancing ethnographic detail with precise theoretical insights, El Paso offers a compelling case study and a stirring call to understand both the conceptual challenge and the social urgency of the effects of globalization in local settings. Victor M. Ortiz-Gonzalez is coordinator of the Mexican and Caribbean Studies Program at Northeastern Illinois University.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816640775
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 1/13/2004
  • Series: Globalization and Community Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: Who Owns the Border?
Introduction: Otherness and Globalization on the U.S.-Mexican Border and Beyond
1 Between an Image and a Hard Place 1
2 Undermining Reality 31
3 La Vista Grande: The Common Ground of Displacements and Breakthroughs 73
4 Local Democracy and Global Demography: New Parameters of Community 103
Conclusion: El Paso as an Eternal - Yet Not Final - Frontier 141
Works Cited 161
Index 169
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