Synopses & Reviews
Complicating the common view that immigrant incorporation is a top-down process, determined largely by parents, Vikki Katz explores how children actively broker connections that enable their families to become woven into the fabric of American life. Childrenandrsquo;s immersion in the U.S. school system and contact with mainstream popular culture enables them more quickly to become fluent in English and familiar with the conventions of everyday life in the United States. These skills become an important factor in how families interact with their local environments. Kids in the Middle
explores childrenandrsquo;s contributions to the family strategies that improve communication between their parents and U.S. schools, healthcare facilities, and social services, from the perspectives of children, parents, and the English-speaking service providers that interact with these families via childrenandrsquo;s assistance. Katz also considers how childrenandrsquo;s brokering affects their developmental trajectories. While their help is critical to addressing short-term family needs, childrenandrsquo;s responsibilities can constrain their access to educational resources and have consequences for their long-term goals. Kids in the Middle
explores the complicated interweaving of family responsibility and individual attainment in these immigrant families.
Through a unique interdisciplinary approach that combines elements of sociology and communication approaches, Katz investigates not only how immigrant children connect their families with local institutional networks, but also how they engage different media forms to bridge gaps between their homes and mainstream American culture. Drawing from extensive firsthand research, Katz takes us inside an urban community in Southern California and the experiences of a specific community of Latino immigrant families there. In addition to documenting the often-overlooked contributions that children of immigrants make to their familiesandrsquo; community encounters, the book provides a critical set of recommendations for how service providers and local institutions might better assist these children in fulfilling their family responsibilities. The story told in Kids in the Middle reveals an essential part of the immigrant experience that transcends both geographic and ethnic boundaries.
andquot;This important, well-written, and accessible book adds substantially to our knowledge of a group that is much misunderstood, sometimes even maligned, and little-studied: American born women who are the children of Mexican immigrant farm workers.andquot;
andquot;This timely and compelling book provides a long over-due examination of the legacy of immigrant conditions on latter generations and is a must-read for anyone who cares about immigration policy.andquot;
andquot;Wells provides a comprehensive analysis ofthe lived experiences of daughters and granddaughters of Mexican immigrant farm workers in Imperial County, California. This is an important contribution to the study of Mexican American family lives and a great addition to the field of gender and women's studies. Highly recommended.andquot;
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;Vikki Katzandrsquo;s nuanced ethnography offers a fascinating analysis ofand#160;how brokering performed by children of immigrantsand#160;can both promote and undermine the larger immigrant bargain.andquot;
andquot;With richly painted portraits of children and families working together in a variety of contexts, this book deepens our understanding of the complex work involved in immigrant family language brokering, as well as ways to support that work. Katz shows the critical role that youth play in giving families access to new media technologies as well as to health and wellness.andquot;
andquot;Kids in the Middle is a timely, informative, and methodologically well-designed study. Katz impressively approaches the topic of children brokers with a multi-methodological design that will fill a gap in current scholarship.andquot;
The work and family lives of Mexican American women in a community near the U.S.-Mexico border in Californiaandrsquo;s Imperial County are examined. Wells provides stories of the struggles, triumphs, and everyday experiences of these women and explores the social structures that create the barriers, constraints, and opportunities that have shaped their lives. These women aspire to achieve the American Dream, but the realities of life in a rural, agricultural border community strictly limit social mobility for these descendants of immigrant farm laborers.
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;
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.
and#160;Kids in the Middle
explores how children of immigrants use their language capabilities, knowledge of American culture, and facility with media content and devices to help their parents forge connections with local schools, healthcare facilities, and social services as they adjust to life in the United States. Through in-depth inquiry in one Southern California community, Vikki S. Katz explores the important contributions children make to the functioning of their immigrant families and considers what social workers and parents in diverseand#160;community can do to support them. and#160;
The End of American Lynching questions how we think about the dynamics of lynching, what lynchings mean to the society in which they occur, how lynching is defined, and the circumstances that lead to lynching. Ashraf H. A. Rushday looks at three lynchings over the course of the twentieth centuryandmdash;one in Coatesville, Pennsylvania in 1911, one in Marion, Indiana in 1930, and one in Jasper, Texas in 1998andmdash;to see how Americans developed two distinct ways of thinking and talking about this act before and after the 1930s.
About the Author
Ashraf Rushdy is the University Academic Secretary at Wesleyan University. He has most recently published Remembering Generations:and#160;Race and Family in Contemporary African American Fiction (University of North Carolina Press, 2001) and Neo-Slave Narratives: Studies in the Social Logic of a Literary Form (Oxford University Press, 1999).
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
1. The Structure of Agriculture and the Organization of Farm Labor
2. Farmworker Origins
3. Life in a Border Community
4. Negotiating Work and Family
5. The Legacy of Farm Labor
6. Surviving Now and Building a Better Life for Later
7. Why Do They Stay?