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Global Perspectives on the United StatesPro-Americanism, Anti-Americanism, and the Discourses Between$
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Virginia R. Domínguez and Jane C. Desmond

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040832

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040832.001.0001

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Americanism and Anti-Americanism of Mexican Immigrants in Los Angeles

Americanism and Anti-Americanism of Mexican Immigrants in Los Angeles

(p.290) Chapter 12 Americanism and Anti-Americanism of Mexican Immigrants in Los Angeles
Global Perspectives on the United States
Guillermo Ibarra
University of Illinois Press

This essay argues that U.S.-Mexico relations are so paradoxical, unstable, and sensitive that it is difficult to determine whether or not Mexican people have anti-American sentiments. A randomized survey conducted by Ibarra and his research team in 2004 with foreign-born Mexicans from Sinaloa in Los Angeles County included questions about their attitudes and values. The answers revealed a growing adhesion of these immigrants to an American way of life but in a transformed fashion, keeping their ethno-national identities and forming transnational multicultural identities that cannot be labeled as anti-American. The essay points out that 60 percent of people in Mexico have a relative living in the U.S., and contemplates some of the likely implications of this fact. Ibarra contrasts this with the March 2006 CIDAC-Zogby International survey on perceptions of Mexico and the U.S., which showed that only 47 percent of the people in Mexico have a favorable opinion of Americans, that 66 percent have a negative opinion of the U.S. government, and that 73 percent consider Americans racist. Ibarra asks if it is possible to imagine poor Mexican people with low levels of English proficiency, limited schooling, and undocumented legal status in the U.S. experimenting with, and producing, a new form of Americanism. After all, he argues, they are the new Americans and, in the process, they are redefining what it means to be American.

Keywords:   U.S.-Mexico relations, Sinaloa, Los Angeles, the new Americans, immigrants, racism, pro-Americanism and anti-Americanism, popular attitudes toward the U.S.

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