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Making Los Angeles HomeThe Integration of Mexican Immigrants in the United States$
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Rafael "Alarcon, Luis Escala, Olga Odgers, and Roger Waldinger

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520284852

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520284852.001.0001

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Cultural Integration

Cultural Integration

Redefining Identities in a Diverse Metropolis

Chapter:
(p.132) Chapter 6 Cultural Integration
Source:
Making Los Angeles Home
Author(s):

Rafael Alarcón

Luis Escala

Olga Odgers

, Dick Cluster
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520284852.003.0007

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.

Keywords:   cutural integration, Mexican immigrants, cultural referents, transnational linkages, ethnic segregation, differentialist integration strategy, heterogenous society, cultural sphere

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