Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican American Middle Class

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Stanford University Press, Aug 15, 2012 - Social Science - 248 pages
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Too frequently, the media and politicians cast Mexican immigrants as a threat to American society. Given America's increasing ethnic diversity and the large size of the Mexican-origin population, an investigation of how Mexican immigrants and their descendants achieve upward mobility and enter the middle class is long overdue. Barrios to Burbs offers a new understanding of the Mexican American experience. Vallejo explores the challenges that accompany rapid social mobility and examines a new indicator of incorporation, a familial obligation to "give back" in social and financial support. She investigates the salience of middle-class Mexican Americans' ethnic identification and details how relationships with poorer coethnics and affluent whites evolve as immigrants and their descendants move into traditionally white middle-class occupations. Disputing the argument that Mexican communities lack high quality resources and social capital that can help Mexican Americans incorporate into the middle class, Vallejo also examines civic participation in ethnic professional associations embedded in ethnic communities.

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At last someone has contributed to an area that is in great need of more research.
I thought that I was one of the few who wrote about this topic.
In my web site I
have written several articles about Mexican Americans with a focus on professionals.
This is a great contribution to a great need for more research on the largest group within the Latino population.
H. Gutierrez


1 Class Assimilation and Mexican Americans
2 Mexican Americans Yesterday and Today
Divergent Class Backgrounds and Pathways into the Middle Class
The Immigrant Narrative and MiddleClass Individualism
5 Mexican Americans or Coconuts? MiddleClass Minority and American Identities
6 Ethnic Professional Associations and the Minority Culture of Mobility
The New American Middle Class
Notes on Fieldwork
List of InDepth Interview Respondents

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About the author (2012)

Jody Agius Vallejo is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California.

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