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The Latina/o Midwest Reader$
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Omar Valerio-Jiménez, Santiago R. Vaquera-Vásquez, and Claire F. Fox

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041211

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041211.001.0001

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Conversations across “Our America”

Conversations across “Our America”

Latinoization and the New Geography of Latinas/os

(p.25) Conversations across “Our America”
The Latina/o Midwest Reader

Louis Mendoza

University of Illinois Press

This essay examines how Latinoization, the cultural and social change resulting from the profound demographic shifts of Latino birthrate and migration, has created a new cultural geography in the Midwest. The project draws on original oral histories from Latina/o citizens and new immigrants, as well as non-Latino cultural mediators who have grappled with the challenges to social and economic integration resulting from real and perceived cultural differences. It discusses many examples where Latinos helped revitalized inner city neighborhoods and become an essential workforce of rural communities experiencing out-migration, even as they are often labeled as outsider and encounter regional cultural frameworks like Minnesota Nice that impede people’s recognition that Latino newcomers and the mainstream community share a mutual destiny.

Keywords:   Revitalization, Latinoization, Minnesota Nice, Cultural geography, Mutual destiny, Out-migration

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