Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of the U.S. South
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Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of the U.S. South

Edited by Mary E. Odem and Elaine Lacy

Title Details

Pages: 208

Illustrations: 3 figures

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 04/15/2009

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3212-3

List Price: $28.95

Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of the U.S. South

Edited by Mary E. Odem and Elaine Lacy

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors

The Latino population in the South has more than doubled over the past decade. The mass migration of Latin Americans to the U.S. South has led to profound changes in the social, economic, and cultural life of the region and inaugurated a new era in southern history. This multidisciplinary collection of essays, written by U.S. and Mexican scholars, explores these transformations in rural, urban, and suburban areas of the South. Using a range of different methodologies and approaches, the contributors present in-depth analyses of how immigration from Mexico and Central and South America is changing the South and how immigrants are adapting to the southern context.

Among the book’s central themes are the social and economic impact of immigration, the resulting shifts in regional culture, new racial dynamics, immigrant incorporation and place-making, and diverse southern responses to Latino newcomers. Various chapters explore ethnic and racial tensions among poultry workers in rural Mississippi and forestry workers in Alabama; the “Mexicanization” of the urban landscape in Dalton, Georgia; the costs and benefits of Latino labor in North Carolina; the challenges of living in transnational families; immigrant religious practice and community building in metropolitan Atlanta; and the creation of Latino spaces in rural and urban South Carolina and Georgia.

This volume’s interdisciplinary focus, international authorship, and mix of quantitative and rich qualitative methodologies allow for a complex portrait of migration, settlement, and adjustment processes as they are experienced by both arriving and receiving communities.

—Heather A. Smith, coeditor of Latinos in the New South: Transformations of Place

A worthy contribution, the most authoritative and complete volume to date on Latin American migrants to the U.S. South.

—James L. Peacock, author of Grounded Globalism: How the U.S. South Embraces the World

The South is now the most important destination for Latino migrants to the United States. With the rapid growth and spread of Latinos throughout the South, we see a new social landscape where everything is in transformation: labor markets, towns, schools, unions, religions, race relations, food, sports, and even street signs. Odem and Lacy's volume brings together a new group of scholars to provide the most accurate and sophisticated analysis yet offered on the dynamics of this new phenomenon.

—Jorge Durand, coeditor of Crossing the Border: Research from the Mexican Migration Project

Drawing on a variety of social science and historical approaches, Odem and Lacy effectively take the pulse of one of the nation's most significant—and unplanned—social experiments: the Latino invasion of Old South states, 1986-2006. Nine essays and a splendid introduction capture a unique tapestry of opportunity, fear, aspiration, and resentment.

—Leon Fink, author of The Maya of Morganton: Work and Community in the Nuevo New South

This insightful historical contribution to the study of Latino migration to the United States provides key arguments supporting the need for further studies of recent immigration to America.

Southern Historian

Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of the U.S. South is an impressive book that addresses a contentious topic through a breadth of scholarly perspectives and sources. The use of in-depth ethnographies, focus groups, and interviews with undocumented workers adds a poignant and powerful component to some of the chapters. Other chapters examine states, like Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina, not traditionally associated with Latino undocumented workers. Even chapters that focus on traditional topics of interest, such as the economic impact of Latino immigrant workers, offer detailed and sophisticated analyses of how Latino immigrants have influenced the U.S. Southeast.

Journal of Southern History

Angela C. Stuesse

James H. Johnson

Jamie Winders

Raymond A. Mohl

Rosío Córdova Plaza

Rubén Hernández-León

Víctor Zúñiga

Elaine Lacy

Mary E. Odem

John D. Kasarda

About the Author/Editor

Mary E. Odem (Editor)
MARY E. ODEM is an associate professor of history and women's studies at Emory University. She is the author of numerous publications on the subjects of women, gender, immigration, and ethnicity in U.S. history.

Elaine Lacy (Editor)
ELAINE LACY is a professor of history and assistant to the executive vice chancellor at the University of South Carolina, Aiken. She has published numerous articles on Latino immigration to the United States and on Mexican cultural politics.