The Xaripu Community across Borders: Labor Migration, Community, and Family

Overview

During the past three decades there have been many studies of transnational migration. Most of the scholarship has focused on one side of the border, one area of labor incorporation, one generation of migrants, and one gender. In this path-breaking book, Manuel Barajas presents the first cross-national, comparative study to examine a Mexican-origin community’s experience with international migration and transnationalism. He presents an extended case study of the Xaripu community, with home bases in both Xaripu, ...

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Overview

During the past three decades there have been many studies of transnational migration. Most of the scholarship has focused on one side of the border, one area of labor incorporation, one generation of migrants, and one gender. In this path-breaking book, Manuel Barajas presents the first cross-national, comparative study to examine a Mexican-origin community’s experience with international migration and transnationalism. He presents an extended case study of the Xaripu community, with home bases in both Xaripu, Michoacán, and Stockton, California, and elaborates how various forms of colonialism, institutional biases, and emergent forms of domination have shaped Xaripu labor migration, community formation, and family experiences across the Mexican/U.S. border for over a century.

Of special interest are Barajas’s formal and informal interviews within the community, his examination of oral histories, and his participant observation in several locations. Barajas asks, What historical events have shaped the Xaripus’ migration experiences? How have Xaripus been incorporated into the U.S. labor market? How have national inequalities affected their ability to form a community across borders? And how have migration, settlement, and employment experiences affected the family, especially gender relationships, on both sides of the border?

The Xaripu Community is an exciting, refreshing, and critical ethnographic study that breaks new ground for theorizing transnational migration experiences and gender relationships across borders and challenges monolithic characterizations of Mexican migrants. Presenting a nuanced critique of previous frameworks, Barajas puts forward innovative assertions and arguments for an ‘interactive colonization’ framework that will have repercussions on debates about the Mexican migration experience in the United States.” —Mary Romero, Arizona State University

“This interesting work aims to develop a framework for understanding how the intersection of racism, patriarchy, and economic oppression affects labor migration, community formation, and gender dynamics among the Xaripu across borders. It contributes to our understanding of another facet of the Mexican experience of migration.” —Cecilia Menjivar editor of Latinos/as in the United States: Changing the Face of América
 
“Manuel Barajas does a masterful job of integrating various theoretical perspectives to provide us a more sophisticated understanding of one particular transnational community. His model of interactive colonialism draws from such diverse conceptual and methodological traditions as neocolonialism and internal colonialism, globalization theory, network theory, gender relations, and historical materialism. At the same time, his approach is firmly grounded in the specific experience of the transborder Xaripu community, based in both Mexico and California. The complexity of his framework is a necessary reflection of the multiple economic and social factors that are shaping this type of emergent globalized community.” —Mario Barrera, University of California, Berkeley

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780268022129
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2009
  • Series: Latino Perspectives
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Manual Barajas is associate professor of sociology at California State University, Sacramento.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction: Labor Migration, Community, and Family across Borders 1

An Overview of the Book 4

Biographical Sketches of Xaripu Labor Migrants 10

2 Theoretical Perspectives on Labor Migration 27

Structural Perspectives 29

Transnational Perspectives 33

Internal Colonialism 39

Moving beyond Traditional Perspectives 44

Interactive Colonization 45

Methods 55

3 A Social-Historical Context of Xaripu's Land Displacement and Labor Migration Experience 63

Origins of Xaripus 64

The Colonization of Michoacán (1521) 67

Mexican Independence (1810) 72

The Mexican Revolution (1910) 76

Agrarian Reform in Mexico (1917-1930s) 82

Bracero Period (1942-64) 87

Post-Bracero Period (1964-1980s) 93

Contextualizing Xaripus' Labor Migration in the History of Colonialism 97

4 The Logic of Colonialism in Modern Labor Relations 99

Colonial Labor in the Fields 100

Labor Conditions in California Agriculture 104

Out of the Fields 125

Race, Gender, and Colonialism in Modern Labor Relations 142

5 Haciendo Comunidad across Borders 145

Contextualizing and Conceptualizing Xaripu Transnationalism 146

Beyond Social Interaction: Convivir 153

Convivencia 154

Nepantla 163

Empowerment 174

The Challenge of Building a Cross-Border Community: Global Inequalities 180

6 The Family across Borders: Exploring Gaps in Perception and Practice of Gender Empowerment 183

Perspectives on Gender Relations within Immigrant Families 184

&iq;Quién Manda? (Who Has the Authority?) 191

The Division of Household Labor 199

The Impact of Transnationalism on Perceptions of Family and Gender Equity 203

The Complexities of GenderEmpowerment within the Family across Borders 210

7 A Pueblo's Search for Empowerment across Borders 213

Appendix 223

Notes 233

Works Cited 277

Index 309

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