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Labor and Legality: Life in a Mexican Immigrant Network is an ethnography of undocumented immigrants who work as busboys at a Chicago-area restaurant. Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz introduces readers to the Lions, ten friends from Mexico committed to improving their fortunes and the lives of their families. Set in and around "Il Vino," a restaurant that could stand in for many places that employ undocumented workers, Labor and Legality reveals the faces behind the war being waged over "illegal aliens" in America. Gomberg-Muñoz focuses on how undocumented workers develop a wide range of social strategies to cultivate financial security, nurture emotional well-being, and promote their dignity and self-esteem. She also reviews the political and historical circumstances of undocumented migration, with an emphasis on post-1970 socioeconomic and political conditions in the United States and Mexico. Labor and Legality is one of several volumes in the Issues of Globalization: Case Studies in Contemporary Anthropology series, which examines the experiences of individual communities in our contemporary world. Each volume offers a brief and engaging exploration of a particular issue arising from globalization and its cultural, political, and economic effects on certain peoples or groups. Ideal for introductory anthropology courses-and as supplements for a variety of upper-level courses-these texts seamlessly combine portraits of an interconnected and globalized world with narratives that emphasize the agency of their subjects.
Ruth Gomberg-Muoz is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work has been published in American Anthropologist and the Journal for Latino-Latin American Studies.
Table of Contents
|Meet the Lions||p. 5|
|A Dog's Life: Luis||p. 5|
|I Want Respect at My Job: Rene||p. 7|
|Meet the Lions||p. 10|
|Il Vino Buono||p. 15|
|What Does a Busboy Do?||p. 17|
|How Do the Lions Compare to Other Groups of Workers?||p. 18|
|Why is There Undocumented Migration?||p. 22|
|Papa Juan's Story||p. 22|
|A History of Mexican Labor Migration to the United States||p. 26|
|The Beginnings of Borders in North America||p. 26|
|The Seeds of Globalization: Development and Migration||p. 27|
|The Roots Take Hold: The Breadbasket and the Bracero Program||p. 30|
|Reaping the Harvest: The Political Production of "Illegal Immigration"||p. 32|
|Politics of Marginalization||p. 34|
|Politics of Labor Reproduction||p. 36|
|Jumping and Adjusting to Life Under the Radar||p. 41|
|Migration: Chuy's Story||p. 41|
|Life in León||p. 44|
|Family Strategies||p. 47|
|The Price of Crossing||p. 52|
|Life Under the Radar: Papers||p. 53|
|Life Under the Radar: Getting Adjusted||p. 55|
|Changing Ideas of Home: Return Migration and Return-Return Migration||p. 59|
|Múy Unidos: Friends, Networks, and Households||p. 63|
|Having Friends Makes Things Easier: Alejandro||p. 63|
|Utilizing a Social Network: Finding Work||p. 65|
|Money and Respect: Assessing Jobs and Bosses||p. 67|
|Getting Paid and Managing Money||p. 71|
|Utilizing a Social Network: Households||p. 74|
|Echándole Ganas: Working Hard||p. 80|
|A Little Extra: Roberto||p. 80|
|Extra Work, Flexible Work||p. 84|
|A Hypothetical Day in the Work Life of an Il Vino Busboy||p. 84|
|Learning the Ropes: Humor and Hazing||p. 89|
|Working as a Team||p. 92|
|Covering and Criticizing: Protecting the Group and Enforcing the Norms||p. 94|
|Why Work Hard? Dimensions of Willingness||p. 97|
|Consent and Contradiction||p. 99|
|Los Número Uno: Identity, Dignity, and Esteem||p. 102|
|They're Good People: Lalo||p. 102|
|Race, Class, and Illegality: Structural Dimensions of Mexican Immigrant Identity||p. 105|
|Mojarones and Pacos: Race, Class, and Illegality at Il Vino||p. 107|
|The Dignity of Hard Work||p. 111|
|On the Margins of the "American Dream"||p. 116|
|Gendered Identity and the Honor of Family Men||p. 118|
|Illegals and Criminals: Racism, Nativism, and the Criminalization of Low-Wage Labor||p. 124|
|We Wetbacks are People Who Like to Work: Leonardo||p. 124|
|Myths and Realities||p. 126|
|Illegals and Criminals||p. 132|
|Toward an Anti-Nativist, Anti-Racist Perspective on Immigration||p. 135|
|Appendix: Interview Outline-Core Participants||p. 141|
|Student Resource Guide||p. 145|
|References Cited||p. 153|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|