Resource: Home Making in Small-Town America: Mexican and Latina/o Diasporas and Citizenship Practices in the Midwest

By: Aide Acosta

January 1, 2010

ProQuest Dissertations Publishing

Home Making in Small-town America is an ethnographic study on recent Mexican migration to rural communities of east-central Illinois, and traces the cultural bases of a diasporic community in the context of citizenship and immigration debates. I examine how immigrants transform their world around them and use memory and nostalgia to construct their new lives in the Midwest. While Mexicans have often been theoretically and analytically situated within the borderlands – the geo-political and metaphorical spaces along the U.S./Mexico border, I argue that a theoretical framework of diaspora, which connects multiple communities of dispersed populations, is fruitful in understanding the ways in which Mexican immigrants maintain and (re)create, through acts of cultural citizenship, a sense of homeland and of belonging in new immigrant destinations such as the rural Midwest.