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Labor and Legality An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Network, 10th Anniversary Edition

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2019-11-29
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Labor and Legality: An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Network, Tenth Anniversary Edition, 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, The Tenth Anniversary Edition of Labor and Legality reveals the faces behind the war being waged over "illegal immigrants" 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, Tenth Anniversary Edition, is one of many volumes in the series ISSUES OF GLOBALIZATION: CASE STUDIES IN CONTEMPORARY ANTHROPOLOGY, which introduces key concepts and theories of globalization through rich and compelling ethnography. It offers new research through case studies in a style and format appropriate for both students and scholars of Anthropology and related fields. 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.

Author Biography

Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Loyola University Chicago.

Table of Contents

Preface for the Tenth Anniversary Edition

Chapter One: Meet the Lions
A Dog's Life: Luis
I Want Respect at My Job: René
Meet the Lions
Il Vino Buono
What Does a Busboy Do?
How Do the Lions Compare to Other Groups of Workers?

Chapter Two: Why Is There Undocumented Migration?
Papa Juan's Story
A History of Mexican Labor Migration to the United States
The Beginnings of Borders in North America
The Seeds of Globalization: Development and Migration
The Roots Take Hold: The Breadbasket and the Bracero Program
Reaping the Harvest: The Political Production of "Illegal Immigration"
Politics of Marginalization
Politics of Labor Reproduction

Chapter Three: Jumping and Adjusting to Life Under the Radar
Migration: Chuy's Story
Life in León
Family Strategies
The Price of Crossing
Life Under the Radar: Papers
Life Under the Radar: Getting Adjusted
Changing Ideas of Home: Return Migration and Return-Return Migration

Chapter Four: Múy Unidos: Friends, Networks, and Households
Having Friends Makes Things Easier: Alejandro
Utilizing a Social Network: Finding Work
Money and Respect: Assessing Jobs and Bosses
Getting Paid and Managing Money
Utilizing a Social Network: Households

Chapter Five: Echándole Ganas: Working Hard
A Little Extra: Roberto
Extra Work, Flexible Work
A Hypothetical Day in the Work Life of an Il Vino Busboy
Learning the Ropes: Humor and Hazing
Working as a Team
Covering and Criticizing: Protecting the Group and Enforcing the Norms
Why Work Hard? Dimensions of Willingness
Consent and Contradiction

Chapter Six: Los Número Uno: Identity, Dignity, and Esteem
They're Good People: Lalo
Race, Class, and Illegality: Structural Dimensions of Mexican Immigrant Identity
Mojarones and Pacos: Race, Class, and Illegality at Il Vino
The Dignity of Hard Work
On the Margins of the "American Dream"
Gendered Identity and the Honor of Family Men

Chapter Seven: Moving Forward
All You Have to Offer is that You Are a Good Worker: Leonardo
Myths and Realities
Moving Forward

Epilogue for 10th Anniversary Edition: The Lions, 10 Years Later

Appendix: Immigrant Rights Organizations
Appendix: Interview Outline-Core Participants
Student Resource Guide
References Cited

Supplemental Materials

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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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