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Shadowed Lives: Undocumented Immigrants in American Society 3rd Edition

Leo R. Chavez

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 1998, 1992
  • 240 Pages


One of the few case studies of undocumented immigrants available, this insightful anthropological analysis humanizes a group of people too often reduced to statistics and stereotypes. The hardships of Hispanic migration are conveyed in the immigrants' own voices while the author's voice raises questions about power, stereotypes, settlement, and incorporation into American society.

Leo R. Chavez, University of California, Irvine

Leo R. Chavez was born in Alamogordo, New Mexico. His parents moved to the Los Angeles area in the early 1950s. He studied anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, receiving his B.A. in 1974. He then moved to Stanford University and received his Ph.D. in anthropology in 1982. His work on immigration began in 1980, when he was hired as the coordinator of field research at the newly created Center for U.S.–Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego. For the next three years he was involved in the center's activities, including research that involved interviewing more than 2,000 legal and undocumented Mexican immigrants. From 1984 to 1987, Chavez continued his relationship with the center, but as a research associate, having won a National Science Foundation research grant and a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship to continue his research on immigration. Between 1984 and 1986, he was also a research associate with El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Mexico's leading research institute focusing on issues important to the U.S.–Mexico border region. This experience allowed him to see first-hand the Mexican perspective on the migration of Mexicans to the United States. Chavez is currently a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. Chavez has published widely on various aspects of the immigrant experience, including problems in access to health services, domestic group organization, the effects of immigration policy on immigrants lives, and media representations of immigrations and citizens. He also spends a great deal of time addressing public concerns about immigration. He has written numerous opinion articles for newspapers, given many public talks, and assisted in the production of documentaries that have aired on the Public Broadcasting System.
  • Updated presentation and analysis of 21st century immigration realities, including recent developments and public debates surrounding immigration law, policy, and reform.
  • The third edition is not simply an update on U.S. immigration "facts and figures," but provides new, in depth discussions and analysis of developments in the field of immigration law and policy, which have occurred since the publication of the second edition in 1998.
  • Among the contemporary immigration issues Chavez brings into focus is the rise of the 'Minutemen' movement on U.S. borders, in which armed U.S. citizens patrol the border with Mexico to enforce government immigration law and policy: Are they patriots or vigilantes?
  • In his new epilogue, Chavez also analyzes the hotly debated topic of immigration reform and the related issue of forced deportation of undocumented workers--and students, too.
  • A section on the history of Mexican migration to the U.S. provides crucial information needed to fully understand contemporary immigration issues and events.
  • The epilogue contains information on California's Proposition 187 and the new welfare and immigration laws that target immigrants, as well as a look at Operation Gatekeeper on the U.S.-Mexican border and the continued destruction of migrant camps.
  • In his analysis of the experience of undocumented migrants, Chavez retains his conceptual framework of stages of incorporation into U.S. society, which he likens to 'rites of passage.' First developed in his earliest edition, Chavez employs this useful framework to help students understand the experiences of undocumented migrants and the challenges that confront them. For almost twenty years, this approach has enabled students to weigh and assess information on immigration policy and public debate with the personal experiences of individual migrants, based on the interview accounts that Chavez provides.
Introduction/Transition and Incorporation
1. The Setting.
2. Separation.
3. Crossing Borders.
4. Life on the Farm.
5. Suburban Shantytown and Refuge.
6. Green Valley's Final Days.
7. Families and Children.
8. Work.
9. Learning to Live as an "Illegal Alien".
10. Incorporation.

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  • ISBN-10: 1285208471
  • ISBN-13: 9781285208473
  • STARTING AT $13.49

  • ISBN-10: 113358845X
  • ISBN-13: 9781133588450
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $60.00
  • RETAIL $79.95

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