Edited by Raquel R. Márquez and Harriett D. Romo
No international relationship of the United States is as encumbered by history, geography, culture, language, and economics as the one with Mexico. Given the scale and importance of the flow of commerce and culture across the border, however, surprisingly few studies have examined the micro-level impact of border immigration patterns, economic systems, and policies on families in the region. Recognizing this void, the women scholars represented here—all of whom have studied and lived near la frontera —explore the complexity of border dynamics. They offer a well-rounded portrayal of Latino families and their response to changes at the border.
The authors focus primarily on women and changes within families on the border—in response to women’s economic strategies, labor market participation, and interactions with relatives and others. Quantitative chapters provide demographic analyses of population changes in new immigrant areas, the conditions of children and families along the border, and the work patterns of border families and women entrepreneurs. Qualitative chapters provide insights into the rites of passage celebrated across borders and the transnational lives of women and their families. The volume concludes with recommendations for collaborative U.S.-Mexico border policies that support families.
Contributors: Ana Marie Argilagos, Amanda G. Bailey, Irasema Coronado, Marie-Laure Coubès, Amelia Malagamba-Ansótegui, Raquel R. Márquez, Yolanda C. Padilla, Catalina Palmer, Mary A. Petrón, Belinda I. Reyes, Bárbara J. Robles, Harriett D. Romo, Patricia Sánchez.
“This timely volume provides a unique comprehensive presentation of cultural and socioeconomic issues tied to the border, particularly as it relates to the everyday lives of transnational families and their on-going negotiation of identities. As a result, the authors’ conclusions and recommendations are imbued with a power of analysis that is grounded in their complex engagement of the issues. This is an outstanding book of significance for scholars and students working on issues of transnationalism, the political economy of migration, immigration, and border culture.” — Antonia Darder, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“This is an excellent and highly coherent collection of papers dealing with the impact on Mexican and Mexican-origin families living in the transnational space of the U.S.-Mexico border. It is particularly useful because of its exceptional range of perspectives, combining demography, history, ethnography, and public policy analysis. Census and survey data from the U.S. and Mexico, life histories, cross-border social and economic relationships, and the perceptions of border residents bring out in rich detail the complex interdependence of both sides of the border. There are valuable accounts of the ways in which women and youth are socialized into transnational identities on both sides of the border through family and community rituals and even through the teaching of English in Mexico. The focus on families brings out graphically the particular challenges of poverty and migration for women, who increasingly work outside the home even when married and for migrant children who are vulnerable to school drop-out on both sides of the border.” — Bryan R. Roberts, C. B. Smith Sr. Chair in U.S.-Mexico Relations, University of Texas at Austin
“Transformations of La Familia on the U.S.-Mexico Border illustrates how the border is a meaningful phenomenon in the changing structure and dynamics of fronteriza families, and in particular for women. Written by fronteriza researchers who both grew up along the border and now focus their work there, this multidisciplinary collection provides a unique and complex view of how the peculiar politics of the border affects families and individuals within families." — Latino Studies
“[This volume] is an anthology of papers by expert scholars discussing how Mexican and Mexican-origin families living in the transnational space of the U.S.-Mexico border. Analyzing demographic, historic, economic, political and public policy factors, [it] is an astute and balanced close study that especially highlights the challenges faced by women, who increasingly work outside the home, whether married or not, and migrant children, who are at high risk for dropping out of school on either side of the border.” — Wisconsin Bookwatch
“Scholars from Texas, California, and Arizona bring perspectives both of women and social sciences to bear on how conditions, opportunities, and constraints of the late 20th and early 21st centuries have changed families on both sides of the border.” — Book News
“In Transformations of La Familia on the U.S. Mexico Border, Raquel Marquez and Harriet Romo provide an excellent volume in which female scholars native to the border region are convened to restore attention to the social institution least discussed but most impacted by neoliberal economic and law enforcement policies: the family. By focusing on the family, the authors show how macro and the micro institutions and forces converging on the border interact with families and individuals.” — Contemporary Sociology