Redefining Identities in a Diverse Metropolis
This chapter looks at the cultural integration of Mexican immigrants. In spite of exhausting work days, the immigrants take an active part in artistic, religious, and civic associations, centered mostly though not exclusively around the cultural referents of the places of origin, thus helping to reinforce transnational linkages. Empirical observation confirms that most artistic, cultural, and religious activities adapt to the ethnic segregation of the Los Angeles region and reproduce it through the pursuit of recognition of the immigrants' own cultural referents within a diverse cultural field. This constitutes a differentialist integregation strategy that makes use of specific cultural referents in negotiating inclusion in a heterogenous society. In turn, this suggests that the maintenance of transnational ties with sending communities is not an obstacle but rather a resource, employed in the process of negotiating space in a segmented cultural sphere.
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