Labor and Legality: An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Network

Paperback | September 9, 2010

byRuth Gomberg-Munoz

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Labor and Legality: Life in a Mexican Immigrant Network is an ethnography of undocumented immigrants who work as busboys at a Chicago-area restaurant. Ruth Gomberg-Munoz introduces readers to the Lions, ten friends from Mexico committed to improving their fortunes and the lives of theirfamilies. Set in and around "Il Vino," a restaurant that could stand in for many places that employ undocumented workers, Labor and Legality reveals the faces behind the war being waged over "illegal aliens" in America. Gomberg-Munoz focuses on how undocumented workers develop a wide range of socialstrategies 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 andMexico.Labor and Legality is one of several volumes in the Issues of Globalization: Case Studies in Contemporary Anthropology series, which examines the experiences of individual communities in our contemporary world. Each volume offers a brief and engaging exploration of a particular issue arising fromglobalization and its cultural, political, and economic effects on certain peoples or groups. Ideal for introductory anthropology courses-and as supplements for a variety of upper-level courses-these texts seamlessly combine portraits of an interconnected and globalized world with narratives thatemphasize the agency of their subjects.

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Labor and Legality: Life in a Mexican Immigrant Network is an ethnography of undocumented immigrants who work as busboys at a Chicago-area restaurant. Ruth Gomberg-Munoz introduces readers to the Lions, ten friends from Mexico committed to improving their fortunes and the lives of theirfamilies. Set in and around "Il Vino," a restauran...

Ruth Gomberg-Munoz is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work has been published in American Anthropologist and the Journal for Latino-Latin American Studies.

other books by Ruth Gomberg-Munoz

Format:PaperbackDimensions:184 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:September 9, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199739382

ISBN - 13:9780199739387

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Meet the LionsA Dog's Life: LuisI Want Respect at My Job: ReneMeet the LionsThe LionsIl Vino BuonoWhat Does a Busboy Do?How Do The Lions Compare to Other Groups of Workers?2. Why is There Undocumented Migration?Migration in the mid-20th century: Papa Juan's StoryAn Anthropology of Mexican Labor Migration to the U.S.The Beginnings of Borders in North AmericaThe Seeds of GlobalizationThe Roots Take Hold: The Breadbasket and the Bracero ProgramReaping the Harvest: the Political Production of "Illegal Immigration"Politics of MarginalizationPolitics of Labor Reproduction3. Jumping and Adjusting to Life Under the RadarMigration: Chuy's StoryLife in LeonFamily StrategiesThe Price of CrossingLife Under the Radar: PapersLife Under the Radar: Getting AdjustedChanging Ideas of Home: Return Migration and Return-Return Migration4. Muy Unidos: Friends, Networks, and householdsHaving Friends Makes Things Easier: AlejandroUtilizing a Social Network: Finding WorkMoney and Respect: Assessing Jobs and BossesGetting Paid and Managing MoneyUtilizing a Social Network: Households5. Echandole Ganas: Working HardA Little Extra: RobertoExtra Work, Flexible WorkA Hypothetical Day in the Work Life of an Il Vino BusboyLearning the Ropes: Humor and HazingWorking as a TeamCovering and Criticizing: Protecting the Group and Enforcing the NormsConsent and Contradiction6. Los Numero Uno: Identity, Dignity, and EsteemThey're good people: LaloRace, Class, and Illegality: Structural Dimensions of Mexican Immigrant IdentityThe Dignity of Hard WorkOn the Margins of the "American Dream"Gendered Identity and the Honor of Family Men7. Illegals and Criminals: Racism, Nationalism, and the Criminalization of Low-Wage LaborWe wetbacks are people who like to work: LeonardoMyths and RealitiesIllegals and CriminalsToward an Anti-Nationalist, Anti-Racist Perspective on ImmigrationEpilogueAppendix: Interview OutlineStudent Resource GuideNotesReferencesIndex