Check out a new title by UCSC Professor of Latino & LatAm Studies Patricia Zavella, I‘m Neither Here nor There: Mexicans’ Quotidian Struggles with Migration and Poverty, published by Duke University Press.
“One of the surprises was finding how diverse people were,” she said. Zavella, the outgoing chair of LALS, had shared an assumption that immigrant populations in this region hailed from a relatively narrow area. But the surveys taken at local health fairs in 2006, showed respondents were from 19 states in Mexico (out of 31 states and one federal district.)
“It was an incredible surprise,” she said of all the places people were from. What she found common, however, was ambivalent feelings of identity by migrants and by Mexican Americans.
Zavella’s book is based on research from 1993 to 2006. She conducted life histories of 76 people to document their experiences related to migration and poverty. One phenomenon she describes is residents’ “peripheral vision,” that “signals ways in which people always have Mexico in the back of their minds”