Synopses & Reviews
Between 2000 and 2011, eight million immigrants became American citizens. In naturalization ceremonies large and small these new Americans pledged an oath of allegiance to the United States, gaining the right to vote, serve on juries, and hold political office; access to certain jobs; and the legal rights of full citizens.and#160;
Inand#160;The Road to Citizenship, Sofya Aptekar analyzes what the process of becoming a citizen means for these newly minted Americans and what it means for the United States as a whole. Examining the evolution of the discursive role of immigrants in American society from potential traitors to morally superior andldquo;supercitizens,andrdquo; Aptekarandrsquo;s in-depth research uncovers considerable contradictions with the way naturalization works today. Census data reveal that citizenship is distributed in ways that increasingly exacerbate existing class and racial inequalities, at the same time that immigrantsandrsquo; own understandings of naturalization defy accepted stories we tell about assimilation, citizenship, and becoming American. Aptekar contends that debates about immigration must be broadened beyond the current focus on borders and documentation to include larger questions about the definition of citizenship.and#160;
Aptekarandrsquo;s work brings into sharp relief key questions about the overall system: does the current naturalization process accurately reflect our priorities as a nation and reflect the values we wish to instill in new residents and citizens? Should barriers to full membership in the American polity be lowered? What are the implications of keeping the process the same or changing it? Using archival research, interviews, analysis of census and survey data, and participant observation of citizenship ceremonies,and#160;The Road to Citizenshipand#160;demonstrates the ways in which naturalization itself reflects the larger operations of social cohesion and democracy in America.
andquot;In addition to a careful analysis of 'formally and informally authorized' immigrants, Plascencia's book contributes to current scholarship on citizenship by exploring what it means to Mexican nationals who pursue it.andquot;
andquot;Using working-class Mexican immigrants as an example, Plascencia explores how race, social class, and nationality affect who is considered a person deserving of U.S. citizenship.andquot;
"A Place to Be is a must-read for everyone interested in religion and transnational communities. The book's innovative focus on lived religion and collective mobilization considerably advances theories of both international migration and religion."
"A cutting edge contribution that focuses on non-traditional placesof settlement, models new methods for analyzing religious geographies, andhighlights the important role of space, place, and time in immigrantincorporation and mobilization."
"This volume makes important contributions to immigration studies as well as to the study of 'lived religion' and its intersection with the livelihoods of Latin American immigrants in Florida."
andquot;The Road to Citizenship is an important addition to the recent scholarly efforts to examine and understand the naturalization process primarily in the United States, but with cohesive and well-integrated comparative material from Canada, Australia, and Europe as well.andquot;
andquot;Cruz-Manjarrez documents important aspects of indigenous immigrant identity formation in Los Angeles and Yalandaacute;lag, Oaxaca, particularly of immigrant youth, adding to our understanding of urban indigenous incorporation in the United States.andquot;
andquot;This rich ethnography reveals how ethnic identity and community membership are negotiated across borders and generations, including an especially original analysis of public cultural expression through community dance.andquot;
andquot;Plascencia deepens and expands our understanding of citizenship and how its promises and limitations directly impact peoples' lives.andquot;
andquot;...an important book for those interested in the operation of citizenship and citizenship education in the United States.andquot;
andquot;Zapotecs on the Move offers a valuable account of the complexities of transnationalism through a deep analysis of the experience of Yalaltecos in Oaxaca and Los Angeles.andquot;
Luis F. B. Plascenciaandrsquo;s Disenchanting Citizenship explores two interrelated issues: U.S. citizenship and the Mexican migrantsandrsquo; position in the United States. Through an extensive and multifaceted collection of interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, ethno-historical research, and public policy analysis, Plascencia probes the ways in which citizenshiop discourses are understood and taken up by individuals. The book uncovers citizenshipandrsquo;s root as a Janus-faced and#160;construct that encompasses a simultaneous process of inclusion and exclusion. This notion of citizenship is mapped on to the migrant experience, arguing that the acquisition of citizenship can lead to disenchantment with the very status desired. Using the experience of Mexican migrants, Plascencia expands the understanding of the dynamics of U.S. citizenship as a form of membership and belonging.
Central to contemporary debates in the United States on migration and migrant policy is the idea of citizenship, andandmdash;as apparent in the continued debate over Arizonaandrsquo;s immigration law SB 1070andmdash;this issue remains a focal point of contention, with a key concern being whether there should be a path to citizenship for andldquo;undocumentedandrdquo; migrants. In Disenchanting Citizenship
, Luis F. B. Plascencia examines two interrelated issues: U.S. citizenship and the Mexican migrantsandrsquo; position in the United States. and#160;
The book explores the meaning of U.S. citizenship through the experience of a unique group of Mexican migrants who were granted Temporary Status under the andldquo;legalizationandrdquo; provisions of the 1986 IRCA, attained Lawful Permanent Residency, and later became U.S. citizens. Plascencia integrates an extensive and multifaceted collection of interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, ethno-historical research, and public policy analysis in examining efforts that promote the acquisition of citizenship, the teaching of citizenship classes, and naturalization ceremonies. Ultimately, he unearths citizenshipandrsquo;s root as a Janus-faced construct that encompasses a simultaneous process of inclusion and exclusion. This notion of citizenship is mapped on to the migrant experience, arguing that the acquisition of citizenship can lead to disenchantment with the very status desired. In the end, Plascencia expands our understanding of the dynamics of U.S. citizenship as a form of membership and belonging.
A Place to Be
is the first book to explore migration dynamics and community settlement among Brazilian, Guatemalan, and Mexican immigrants in America's new South. The book adopts a fresh perspective to explore patterns of settlement in Florida, including the outlying areas of Miami and beyond. The stellar contributors from Latin America and the United States address the challenges faced by Latino immigrants, their cultural and religious practices, as well as the strategies used, as they move into areas experiencing recent large-scale immigration.
Contributors to this volume include Patricia Fortuny Loret de Mola, Carol Girón Solórzano, Silvia Irene Palma, Lúcia Ribeiro, Mirian Solfs Lizama, José Claúdio Souza Alves, Timothy J. Steigenga, Manuel A. Vásquez, and Philip J. Williams.
In The Road to Citizenship, Sofya Aptekar analyzes what the process of becoming a citizen means for newly minted Americans and what it means for the United States as a whole. Examining the evolution of the discursive role of immigrants in the American society, immigrantsandrsquo; own understandings of naturalization, and the growing inequality in who gets citizenship, Aptekarandrsquo;s in-depth research uncovers considerable contradictions in the way and#160;naturalization works today. Aptekar contends that debates about immigration must be broadened beyond the current focus on borders and documentation to include larger questions about the definition of citizenship.and#160;
Through interviews with three generations of Yalandaacute;lag Zapotecs (andldquo;Yalaltecosandrdquo;) in Los Angeles and Yalandaacute;lag, Oaxaca, Adriana Cruz-Manjarrez examines the impact of international migration on this community, tracing five decades of migration to Los Angeles to delineate migration patterns, community formation in Los Angeles, and the emergence of transnational identities of the first and second generations of Yalandaacute;lag Zapotecs in the U.S.
Through interviews with three generations of Yalandaacute;lag Zapotecs (andldquo;Yalandaacute;ltecosandrdquo;) in Los Angeles and Yalandaacute;lag, Oaxaca, this book examines the impact of international migration on this community. It traces five decades of migration to Los Angeles in order to delineate migration patterns, community formation in Los Angeles, and the emergence of transnational identities of the first and second generations of Yalandaacute;lag Zapotecs in the United States, exploring why these immigrants and their descendents now think of themselves as Mexican, Mexican Indian immigrants, Oaxaqueandntilde;os, and Latinosandmdash;identities they did not claim in Mexico.
Based on multi-site fieldwork conducted over a five-year period, Adriana Cruz-Manjarrez analyzes how and why Yalandaacute;lag Zapotec identity and culture have been reconfigured in the United States, using such cultural practices as music, dance, and religious rituals as a lens to bring this dynamic process into focus. By illustrating the sociocultural, economic, and political practices that link immigrants in Los Angeles to those left behind, the book documents how transnational migration has reflected, shaped, and transformed these practices in both their place of origin and immigration.
About the Author
LUIS F. B. PLASCENCIA is an assistant professor of anthropology and affiliated faculty in the School of Transborder Studies and the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. and#160;He has published articles in numerous journals, including Urban Anthropology and International Migration Review.
Table of Contents
1. The Yalandaacute;lag Zapotecs
2. Building Community and Connections in Los Angeles
3. Community Life across Borders
4. Yalandaacute;lag Zapotec Identities in a Changing World
5. Identities of the Second-Generation Yalandaacute;lag Zapotecs
6. Danzas Chuscas: Performing Status, Violence, and Gender in Oaxacalifornia
7. Community and Culture in Transnational Perspective