The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the relationship between immigration and poverty in the eight-state region that comprises the 'Northwest Area,' and to make recommendations for poverty alleviation. The states are Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington.
The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the relationship between immigration and poverty in the eight-state region that comprises the ‘Northwest Area,’ and to make recommendations for poverty alleviation. The states are Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington.
Margaret A. Villanueva
This study of 100 Latina immigrants and 58 social service providers in four central Minnesota towns contributes to the growing literature on Latinos in Minnesota by providing a demographic profile of Latina immigrants in greater Minnesota and offering insights into their social needs and the barriers to obtaining social services. It also identifies assets or skills of Latinas as well as communication issues relevant to their interactions with service providers in the public service and non-profit arenas. The report’s focus on Latinas helps to close a gap in the emerging literature that ignores the gender-specific experiences and assets of Latinas. Another main goal of research is to present data that may inform future public service procedures, policies and practices through improved communications.
Racial oppression and conflict have been pervasive and significant features of the American society since the formation of the United States. Indeed, they were critical to the formation of the United States and, in part, remain responsible for its present-day global stature (Bonilla-Silva, 2001; Bonacich, 2000). They also have worked as agents to stratify life within the United States (Hacker, 1992; Massey & Denton, 1993; Feagin, 2000). Presently, few scholars would dispute that racial stratification remains an unfortunate reality in the U.S. However, the tendency and rationale for social science literature to treat race and racism in the United States as solely and uniquely an historic relation between white and black Americans is a contentious argument among some scholars who study non-black communities of color. Proponents of the black-white paradigm defend their approach with historical arguments.
The purpose of this article is to describe the five success factors that ten low-income, urban Puerto Rican high school students attributed to their high academic achievement. These success factors are: 1) the acquisition of social capital and academic motivation through religiosity and participation in school and community-based extracurricular activities; 2) student affirmation of Puerto Rican identity; 3) the influence of mothers; 4) the potential for caring teachers to influence high academic achievement; and 5) membership in multicultural/multilingual peer networks. Additionally, these success factors and their implications for Latina/o education are discussed. Many of the students in the study credit their high academic achievement to their involvement with a Catholic or Pentecostal-based religious institution and/or other kinds of extracurricular activities. These activities also furthered the establishment of community/social networks that facilitated their access to resources like homework help and mentorship. All the high achieving students in this study strongly affirmed their Puerto Rican identity by expressing they were proud to be “Boricua” or “Puertorriqueña/o,” and that their peers also viewed them as being Puerto Rican. This ethnic affirmation challenges the belief held by some researchers who contend that being a good student from an involuntary migrant group is ultimately perceived by other students of color as “acting White.”
Carlos Ponce & Brendon Comer
Some health researchers use the concept of acculturation to try to explain health behaviors or illnesses prevalent among Hispanic people. In this research “Hispanic culture” has often been represented as being associated with inadequate health beliefs and behaviors and poor health. In much of this research, Hispanic culture is viewed as hindering healthy practices. At the same time, other acculturation studies find that Hispanic culture provides health-enhancing elements, such as less permissive sexual behavior, better birth outcomes, or less smoking and substance use. The effect of Hispanic culture on individual health could prove to be an important social element to scrutinize. But we believe that acculturation studies are seriously limited by several basic conceptual and methodological problems that need to be addressed before such knowledge can be achieved.
Katherine Fennelly &Helga Leitner
In this paper the authors argue that the diversification of rural Minnesota is largely the result of the restructuring of the food processing industry, and the subsequent recruitment of low wage laborers. They begin with a brief discussion of demographic changes in the state as a whole, and in rural Minnesota. This is followed by an analysis of the relationship between the location of food processing industries and the diversity of the population, using different measures of diversity. They conclude with a discussion of the benefits and challenges that “new diversity” poses for rural communities.
Increased divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births have precipitated much national conversation about the well-being of children raised in single family households. Commonly evoked is the image of a single mother who is struggling to raise children without the help of her children’s biological father, or a “deadbeat dad.” However, realistically, she has a good chance of remarrying a man whose ex-wife and children are being primarily supported and raised by yet another man (Coleman, Ganong & Fine, 2000). If the mother is poor and young, the image quickly becomes that of a Black or brown woman who is perpetuating her condition by irresponsibly becoming pregnant repeatedly, by multiple men, most often in her teens, without regard or need for establishing a traditional family; she is replacing familial support: economic, social, emotional and psychological, with that of the state. The Black or brown father(s) are seen as irresponsible, incorrigible, highly oversexed, sometimes depraved, boys or men who derive their self worth from irresponsibly fathering as many children as possible and who have no regard for society’s existing mores for civility.
Recent studies and personal narratives suggest a connection between the low academic achievement of Latina/o students in the United States to the lack of care they experience in schools.
This paper contributes to the emerging community view of the farm labor problem by examining the economic impact of migrant seasonal farmworkers (MSFW) to the labor market on the rural areas of Branch, Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Monroe and Washtenaw Counties in southeastern Michigan. It provides a model of farm labor as an economic development event to measure the economic impacts on rural areas from the presence of MSFWs. MSFW-dependent agriculture in southeastern Michigan is no longer just sugar-beet production; it is quite diverse and demands for MSFWs cut across a large variety of field operations. Thirty-nine of the forty-six labor-intensive crops grown in the state are grown in Michigan’s southeastern region. Interest in foreign workers is growing and the H-2A program is slowly beginning to take hold in Michigan.
Ann Millard et al.
A survey of residents of farm labor camps in Michigan shows that they bring different kinds of knowledge to bear on issues of pesticide safety. A survey of 188 migrant agricultural workers shows that those who are the most knowledgeable are specialists in farm work, favor Spanish over English, and participate in out-of-state migration to jobs in Florida and Texas. Those who know less about pesticide safety had worked outside agriculture as well as on farms in Michigan. Education and gender were not related to knowledge of pesticide safety, but they were dimensions of variation in different parts of the migrant stream. Statistical analysis and ethnographic information suggest that both formal and practical knowledge create the differences among workers in their levels of knowledge of pesticide safety.
Marvi S. Lacar
America’s agribusiness employs 1.6 million migrant and seasonal farmworkers who toil for low wages under high risk conditions. Migrant and seasonal farmworkers face high health risks due to labor, geographic, economic, as well as cultural, and sociological factors. For these reasons, many migrant workers rely on federal, state, and community agencies not only for medical and health-related assistance, but also for benefits necessary for their maintenance in daily affairs. However, recent welfare reforms (passed by the 104th Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 22, 1996) placed new restrictions on the types of benefits available to both legal and undocumented immigrants. Since a significant percentage of migrant workers are not United States citizens, the new law affects many of them. Parts I and II of this paper include an overview of the Title IV provisions in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 and their implications for immigrants’ access to federal and state benefits, specifically health care access among migrant farmworkers. Part III provides empirical data, testimony and observations to illustrate the socio-economic background of farmworkers in five Southwest Michigan camps and an assessment of the Act’s impact on them.
Vivian D. Roeder & Ann Millard
This study investigates Latino farmworkers in Michigan in regard to “occupational cycles,” defined as changes in types of jobs during the year. Data for this study came from a survey of 350 residents of farm labor camps in 12 counties in Michigan. Of labor camp residents, 99% were Latinos (mostly Mexican Americans) and 67% wintered in regions to the south, mostly Texas and Florida. Nearly all women and two-thirds of men lived with family members in households in the labor camps. Statistical tests included cluster analysis and tests of difference of means and proportions including partitioning of chi square and a post hoc test for chi square equality of proportion. Over one-third of study participants had nonagricultural jobs during the preceding year. An unexpectedly high percentage of women had off-farm jobs (42%). The percentage did not differ statistically from that of men (35%). All the jobs were low-paying, but the status of women’s off-farm jobs was higher than that of men’s. Women with off-farm jobs had worked in significantly more states than other women, typically including Texas rather than Florida, in contrast to men with nonagricultural jobs, who tended to have worked in Florida. Education was not related to women’s employment patterns although men with off-farm jobs had significantly more education than others. These findings show that workers in the migrant streams reaching the Midwest are more diverse in employment than expected, and that this complexity characterizes women working in the nonfarm sector as well as men. Furthermore, the position of women migrant workers in generating income for their households is more important than expected.
Roberto M. De Anda
This study compares the causes and consequences of employment instability among Mexican-origin women, White women, and White men. Data for the analysis comes from the work experience supplement in the March 1995 file of the Current Population Survey (CPS). The supplement documents the respondent’s year-long labor force activity. Respondents who had an interruption in employment, or involuntarily worked part-time during the entire year, are said to have experienced employment instability. Using logistic regression, results show that Mexican-origin women with low levels of schooling, immigrants, and those employed in the periphery services sector are highly vulnerable to employment instability. Earnings determination models revealed that employment instability exerts a heavier penalty on Mexican-origin women,compared to their White counterparts, net of human capital endowments and economic sector location.
Rudy Hernandez, Marcelo Siles, and Refugio I. Rochin
This paper aims at understanding Latino youth challenges and concentrates on: 1) an assessment of the demographic transformation which highlights the importance of studying the Latino population in general; 2) an examination of the role of Latino youth in the changing national context; 3) an overview of Latino youth in terms of the official definition of who they are and a discussion of the growing debate over Latino identity and Hispanicity; and 4) an examination of Latino diversity and unity. The authors also discuss the reasons why national policies like immigration and welfare reform heighten awareness of Latinos. They also examine some troubling socioeconomic indicators that challenge Latinos as a whole, such as problems with low income, education, unemployment, deviance, juvenile crime, etc. They found that Latino youth are not achieving the type of education that prepares them for better paying, high skill, professional jobs. They are facing problems of poverty, family dysfunction, and deviant behavior, at least on par with other ethnic groups or even to a greater degree. They also found that despite these concerns, most Latino youth possess the skills ideally suited for a global world, namely the skills of being bilingual, multicultural, and acute awareness of social changes within local communities. The authors argue that Latino youth represent a critical part of this nation’s future leaders and workers and are increasingly needed by an aging population in a global world of more trade and international competition. They call for a full-scale blueprint investment in Latino youth and their future.
Robert P. Moreno
The following study examines the teaching behaviors of Mexican-American mothers using an "everyday" and "school related" task. The study focuses on 1) What are the differences in teaching behaviors among Mexican Americans across tasks, 2) instruction changes over time, 3) changes in teaching behavior relate to children's performance and the influence of maternal education on instruction. The sample consisted of 37 Mexican-American mother-child dyads. The children's mean age was 50.8 months (SD = 6.1). The results indicate that Mexican-American mothers alter their instruction across time and according to the task at hand. Under everyday conditions, the mothers' relied primarily on the use of various verbal utterances such as commands, labeling, directives and verbal corrections to guide and maneuver children's activity. Under the school task condition, the mothers relied on the use of non-verbal behaviors, particularly visual cues and physical corrections. The mothers also instruct their children in a "complementary" fashion, altering their general strategy with respect to the demand on the child. Regardless of the task, however, mothers tended to follow an overall instructional pattern that is consistent with that proposed by a Vygotskian framework. Finally, the study found the mothers' education level was associated with her teaching behaviors under the everyday task, but not the school task.
Victor Garcia & Laura G. Martinez
This working paper addresses the unprecedented growth of the foreign and U.S.-born Mexican-descent population in non-metropolitan and agricultural areas in the United States. It is organized into four sections. This first part of the paper is a general discussion of immigration from Guanajuato, Mexico, to these areas of the country. The concentration of Mexicans in non-metropolitan and agricultural areas is examined in the second section. The third part describes examples of this concentration in two communities in southeastern Pennsylvania. In the fourth and last section, it is suggested that peasants from Guanajuato and other compatriots not only immigrate to these areas, many migrate in order to continue practicing subsistence agriculture in their homeland. Migration allows them to pursue this important traditional economic activity.
Margaret Villanueva, Brian Erdman, & Larry Howlett
In the mid-1990’s, the congressional Republican majority and Gov. Pete Wilson of California placed the blame for a falling standard of living on Latino immigrants, urban African-Americans, and so-called “welfare abuse.” Although a booming economy and low unemployment rates lessened the political pressure to blame immigrants and the working poor for social problems, it remains unlikely that the benefits of economic expansion will accrue to lower income households in the long term. This working paper examines income, education, and household/family organization for 1980 to 1990, with special focus on Latinos and African-Americans in Chicago and Kansas City. It suggests areas for further research when comparing how ethnic groups fare in “World Cities” such as Chicago in relation to smaller, less “globalized” towns and cities in the Midwest. The paper also provides ample bibliographical references regarding Latinos in the Midwest, an increasingly important research area where much work remains undone about past, present, and future Latino communities and neighborhoods. Once the U.S. Census for 2000 has been completed and published, will we find that a strong economy and “welfare reform” has improved conditions for African-Americans and Latinos? The authors believe that a better understanding of the insertion of each group into its specific urban socioeconomic context is crucial to developing collaborative strategies and policies to unite, rather than divide, the African-American and Latino communities of Midwestern cities.
This article compares the responses to globalization by a Latina entrepreneur and a Latina labor advocate in the border city of El Paso, Texas. The two cases illustrate contrasting, yet inevitably related responses to the polarization generated by the ongoing process of international economic integration. As the local economy of that city becomes more immediately linked to global markets, business opportunities for new entrepreneurs coincide with massive displacement of garment workers, most of whom are Latinas. This article, beyond rigid ideological demarcations or automatic denunciations, uses ethnographic descriptions to contextualize the two involvements in reference to the sweeping magnitude of ongoing changes. The changes concern new economic parameters, suggesting class and gender reformulations as well as new avenues for local interventions.
Robert P. Moreno & Jose A. Lopez
The present study examined Latina mothers' acculturation and education levels with respect to various sociocultural, personal, and contextual factors related to mothers' level of parental involvement. The sample consisted of 158 Latina mothers, who were the primary care providers of their first grade children. The results indicated that although less acculturated Latinas reported less knowledge about school activities and more barriers to involvement, they also report high levels of perceived efficacy relevant to parental involvement, higher educational expectations, and greater spousal support. The findings highlight the importance of examining the within-groups differences related to Latino populations and questions prevalent assumptions regarding the role of acculturation with regard to parental involvement.
Carol Fimmen et al.
The twenty-first state did not have a Hispanic* population when it added its star to the United States flag in December of 1818. Census profiles for Illinois through the decades suggest the first substantial demographic Hispanic population was not clearly defined as a category until the 1970 census. In the late 1800's and early 1900's, Hispanic settlements principally occurred in urbanized areas, particularly the Chicago area, drawn by the opportunity to work in low-paying service and manufacturing jobs. The first large-scale wave of Hispanic immigrants to Illinois took place with the onset of World War I, supported by the twin circumstances of an economic boom and a labor shortage. Mexican workers were actively recruited to work in the factories, agricultural industries, and the railroads. By 1928, the Mexican population represented 43% of the total labor force on the railroads. The steel and meat packing industries experienced the same growth in their workforce population and by 1926, Mexican workers represented 14% and 11%, respectively, of all workers in these Chicago area industries. Thus, the Mexican population rose dramatically in one decade from 1,224 in 1920 to 19,362 in 1930 (Betancur, Cordova, and Torres, 1993). The second wave of Mexican immigration was initiated by another war, World War II, and the implementation of the Bracero Program in 1941. The Bracero Program was originally created as a wartime relief program to import temporary workers, but was repeatedly renewed until 1964. Due to similar economic circumstances, over 15,000 Mexicans were brought to Chicago to work on the railroads alone from 1943-1945 (Betancur, Cordova, and Torres, 1993). As a result of this steady flow of Mexican labor into Illinois, over 35,000 Hispanics were counted in the census in the Chicago area in 1950. The category nearly doubled in size each decade thereafter, and included 55,597 persons in 1960, and 106,000 in 1970. This early flow of migrants established a basis for the more substantial migration that began in the 1980's when 255,770 of the persons counted were of Mexican descent. However, of greater significance was the almost explosive population gain of Hispanics that occurred between 1990 and 1994 when this cohort of the population accounted for 32% of the population growth in Illinois. People do not just appear without cause. There need to be forces of attraction that complement the exertion of forces causing people to leave their places of origin. In this analysis, we begin by examining the demographic pattern of the Hispanic migration to Illinois and the forces which encouraged this migration and population growth and the impact it has on societal institutions.
This paper analyzes the way nationalism, citizenship, and the Puerto Rican diaspora intersect with delinquency and violence, converging upon the “I” that is constructed autobiographically in Piri Thomas’s Down These Mean Streets. This paper also focuses on the history of the collective, or the attempts to collectivize, anthologize, and categorize the diverse opus that is Puerto Rican literature. In doing so the author sheds light on the way in which attempts at individual “self-representation” via autobiography are necessarily implicated in the way non-white ethnic outgroups are constructed and represented in dominant culture, by and through the nation.
This study investigated the influence that family and community cultures have on the teaching and learning of science in an after-school program. The Family Science Project provided an environment for third and fourth grade children to learn science with their parents, other adults, and middle school students. Sessions were held once a week for about one and half hours for 6-8 weeks in Fall and Spring semesters (1992-94.) The middle-school students, called the "Junior Scientists," assisted elementary children and at the same time learned science with them and with the other adults. The 20 participants were interviewed at the beginning of the program and at the end of one year. All the Family Science sessions were observed by the researcher taking descriptive field notes. Students' and parents' logs were also collected. Results indicated that self-esteem of children as well as their parents had gone up. The assistance given by the "Junior Scientists," and the opportunity to wear white lab coats provided a conducive environment for younger children to learn science and gain a positive image of themselves as "scientists." The interaction with the younger children helped the "Junior Scientists" develop a positive attitude toward science and meaningful science skills. The parents, who had poor images of themselves as scientists, were able to build up confidence and to develop positive images. They also believed that this intervention helped to direct their children to being more attentive in their science and math classes.
Aurora L. Morales
In the process of writing, I chose to make myself visible as a historian with an agenda, but also as a subject of this history, and one of the traumatized seeking to recover herself. My own work became less about creating a reconstructed historical record and more about my own relationship to history, my questions and challenges, my mapping of ignorance and contradiction, my anger, sorrow and exhilaration. To testify, through my personal responses to them, to how the official and renegade stories of the past impact Puerto Rican women. To explore by sharing how I had done so in my own life, the ways that recaptured history could be used as a tool of recovery from a multitude of blows. In writing Remedios, I made myself the site of experimentation, and engaged in a process of decolonizing my own relationship to history as one model of what was possible. As I did so, I evolved a set of understandings or instructions to myself about how to do this kind of work, a kind of curandera's handbook of historical practice. The rest of this essay is that handbook.
Migrant and seasonal farmworkers are an important part of agricultural production in Michigan. Although important to agriculture, as a group they continue to be one of the most disadvantaged in Michigan and in the country. This report profiles the farm labor use patterns in Michigan and the benefits of farm labor to Michigan agriculture and rural areas. The report also profiles the migrant and seasonal farmworker population in the state, identifies some of the current pressing issues and problems of the population, and suggests ways to stabilize the agricultural labor market in the state.