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Department

Sociology

Disciplines

Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity

Abstract

This study addresses how Mexican immigrants become politicized in the absence of appropriate opportunities. Drawing from 20 qualitative interviews of Mexican immigrants residing in Idaho, a key contradiction is found between active words and effective inaction. That is, respondents want to participate but do not. To address this contradiction this study identifies key processes that enable and curtail Mexican immigrant community engagement as part of their daily struggle for full incorporation into US society. I argue politicization is the result of the capacity to harness optimism and collective orientation while being able to defy the challenges of isolationism and individualism. The severe anti-worker and anti-immigrant environment in Idaho presents a perfect place to study this because it provides insight into how limited opportunity influences immigrant methods of addressing workplace and community grievances.

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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Arthur Scarritt