September 11th and Transnationalism: The Case of Brazilian Immigrants in the United States
Maxine L. Margolis
One of the most salient features of transnational migration is the movement of international migrants back and forth between home and host countries. Although international migration has never meant an unimpeded flow of immigrants traversing international borders at will, the attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 have led many industrialized nations, including the United States, increasingly to restrict immigration and place ever greater obstacles to the movements of transnational migrants. This paper cites one immigrant group, Brazilians in the United States, as a case study and analyzes the ways in which they have been impacted by post-9/11 constraints. The specific focus is on the attacks’ consequences for bodily transnationalism, the ability to physically cross international boundaries, and the impact of proposed immigration legislation on this issue.
Key words: Brazilian immigration, immigration to the U.S., transnationalism
Problem Drinking among Transnational Mexican Migrants: Exploring Migrant Status and Situational Factors
We present research findings on problem drinking among transnational Mexican migrants employed in the mushroom industry of southeastern Pennsylvania. Our research explored the relationship between situational factorsliving arrangements, social isolation, and peer pressure to drinkand problem drinking. Individual characteristics of the migrants, such as age, education level, migration history, and work experience in the mushroom industry are also considered. The premise of our study is that the migrants’ judicial status in the countryas foreign solo men and, at times, undocumented or illegal migrantsplaces them at a high risk to binge drink. The men mainly live without their families in relatively isolated grower-provided housing or overcrowded apartment units for months, if not years, away from traditional community and kin deterrents to heavy drinking. We employed the ethnographic method in two complementary field studies: a community ethnography, designed to identify the community context of problem drinking, and a series of case studies of migrant drinkers, designed to identify the relationships between situational factors and problem drinking. Focus groups were used to explore and verify the findings generated in the two studies. Our findings reveal that there is an alcohol abuse problem among the migrants as a consequence of situational and other factors, such as festive occasions, bad news from home, and a long work week. Their binge drinking does not always result in negative behavior because the migrants follow drinking norms, and violators of these norms are dealt with accordingly. Nonetheless, binge drinking does place them at a high risk for negative behavior, which results in problems in their housing units and in local communities.
Key words: Mexican farmworkers, transnational migrants, problem drinking, binge drinking
Liminal Spaces: Changing Inter-Generational Relations among Long-Term Liberian Refugees in Ghana
Kate Hampshire, Gina Porter, Kate Kilpatrick, Peter Kyei,
Michael Adjaloo, and George Oppong
This paper reports on changing inter-generational relations among long-term Liberian refugees in the Buduburam settlement camp in Ghana. Four months of fieldwork were conducted in the settlement, using a range of qualitative methods to elicit emic understandings of the nature and causes of changes in inter-generational relations: focus groups, individual interviews, participant observation, and diary-keeping by refugees. Various aspects of the refugee experience, in particular the strategies used by young people to cope with long-term livelihood insecurity, are seen by camp inhabitants to have led to a reconfiguration of relationships between older and younger people and even to the blurring of generational categories. There is a powerful discourse linking economic impotence of older people with the erosion of inter-generational relations of authority and deference. This is seen to have encouraged both a devaluation of old age and experience within the community and an increase in tensions between young and old. In response, some older people choose to transgress generational boundaries by adopting aspects of youth culture and style, while younger people express considerable ambivalence about their own ability to make the transition from youth to adulthood. We argue that the camp and policy context of Buduburam diminishes the ability of refugees to become full social and economic adults in their own terms, as well as pushing young people in particular into risky livelihoods strategies. This has important implications for the ability of everyone, both young and old, to cope with the demands of refugee life.
Key words: refugee camps, Liberian refugees, Ghana, youth-elderly relations, Buduburam
Migration to the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala: Why Place Matters
David L. Carr
Most migration research examines international migration or urbanization. Yet understudied rural migrants are of critical concern for environmental conservation and rural sustainable development. Despite the fact that a relatively small number of all migrants settle remote rural frontiers, these are the agents responsible for perhaps most of the tropical deforestation on the planet. Further, rural migrants are among the most destitute people worldwide in terms of economic and human development. While some research has investigated deforestation resulting from frontier migration and frontier development, this article explores the necessary antecedent to tropical deforestation and poverty in agricultural frontiers: emigration from origin areas. The data come from a 2000 survey with community leaders and key informants in 16 municipios (municipalities) of migrant origin to the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR), Petén, Guatemala. A common denominator among communities of migration origin to the Petén frontier was unequal resource access, usually land. Nevertheless, factors driving resource scarcity were widely variable. Land degradation, land consolidation, and population growth prevailed in some communities but not in others. Despite similar exposure to community and regional level push factors, most people in the sampled communities did not emigrate, suggesting that any one or combination of factors is not necessarily sufficient for emigration.
Key words: rural-rural migration, Guatemala, Latin America, population, environment
“I’m Paying Your Salary Here!”: Social Inequality, Consumerism, and the Politics of Space in Medical Clinics
Cynthia Miki Strathmann and M. Cameron Hay
Receptionists mediate patient access to physicians. One would anticipate that patients would treat receptionists respectfully, but while many do some are condescending or even aggressive. This paper explores this conundrum in data from ethnographic research in three clinics in Los Angeles. We argue that consumer ideology helps patients construct staff as working for them, an attitude that is reinforced by the occupational segregation within the clinic and that draws on a model of society in which racial categories (African American and Latino) imply a class position (non-managerial or professional worker). In comparing patient complaints across clinics it became clear that clinic structure can increase patient frustration by increasing the spatial and bureaucratic barriers to receiving care. We examine patients’ use of local ideologies of social inequality and consumerism to voice frustration and suggest that clinic organization is a factor in how patients will treat receptionists.
Key words: clinic relationships, receptionists, patient aggression, space, medicine
Invisible Indians: Native Americans in Pennsylvania
David Minderhout and Andrea Frantz
Native Americans are an invisible population in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is one of a few states that neither contains a reservation nor recognizes any native group within its borders. State officials steadfastly assert that there are no Native Americans in the state. Yet, according to the U.S. Census, approximately 18,000 Native Americans live in Pennsylvania, and a minimum of 11 different organizations represent them. The authors have surveyed nearly 300 Native Americans within the state and conducted extended ethnographic interviews with 70 others. A chief concern is obtaining state recognition, but bills to grant recognition have failed in the state legislature for nearly 20 years. A significant barrier to recognition is Native Americans’ inability to work together. Given the history of Pennsylvania, claims to Native American heritage are difficult to verify, which leads to disagreements over authenticity of identity. This article reviews the efforts to win state recognition, while comparing the circumstances of Pennsylvania’s native peoples to similar groups on the East Coast, such as the Abenaki, the Pequots, and the Wampanoags.
Key words: Lenape, state recognition, native peoples, forgotten history, official denial
Disparities in Access to Behavioral Health Services for Puerto Rican-Descended Adolescents
Michael R. Duke and Wandick Mateo
This article discusses the unique behavioral health issues facing Puerto Rican-descended adolescents in the mainland United States, and their particular challenges in accessing behavioral health services. Utilizing interview data with in-treatment and not-in-treatment youth, and with behavioral health providers who work with this population, this paper elucidates the range and scope of behavioral health needs for youth of Puerto Rican descent, and documents the social, cultural, and economic barriers faced by Puerto Rican youth and their families in accessing culturally and linguistically appropriate treatment. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for addressing the behavioral health disparities and barriers to treatment that this population faces.
Key words: Puerto Ricans, adolescents, behavioral health access, disparities, migration
Housing for Health in Indigenous Australia: Driving Change when Research and Policy are Part of the Problem
The failures of social policy in Indigenous Australia are legion, to the current point where the former national government declared a national state of emergency in its own borders. In calmer times, recommendations for solutions almost inevitably include a call for more practice-oriented research to increase the evidence base informing social interventions. Just as inevitably, researchers bemoan the difficulties of influencing policy and the culpabilities involved; while policy practitioners have equally standardized frustrations concerning the irrelevance of much research. Many understand this familiar division, almost affectionately, as a function of the different organizational cultures separating the academy from the bureaucracy. This paper complicates this longstanding binary by drawing on an example of an evidence-based program to improve housing functionality in Indigenous Australia, known as Housing for Health. Stereotypical claims about the cultural differences separating policy and research are replaced with lessons about the specific characteristics of those who would wield effective strategic-administrative interventions and are able to enjoin evidence to action.
Key words: research and policy, public housing, Indigenous environmental health, Australia
Apple Growers’ Associations in Northwestern India: Emergence, Success, and Limitations in the Context of State-Society Interactions
Apple growers’ associations in northwestern Himalayas have played an important role in the transition from subsistence agriculture to commercial horticulture, experienced by the state of Himachal Pradesh in the last three decades. This paper is a case study of an association, explaining its emergence and successful functioning in terms of the historically specific and privileged relationship with the state. Furthermore, the convergence between the association’s goals and the state’s imperatives can only be understood in light of the sociopolitical and geographic reality of the region, which have made horticulture, particularly apple production, an economically and culturally viable development option. Finally, the paper analyzes both the successes of the association in overcoming entrenched problems long faced by apple growers, as well as its not-so successful record in promoting broader social and environmental goals, the key to the sustainability of horticulture in the region.
Key words: apple growers’ associations, Himachal Pradesh, India, horticulture, state-society interactions
Managing Risk, Resisting Management: Stability and Diversity in a Southern Australian Fishing Fleet
Monica Minnegal and Peter D. Dwyer
At Lakes Entrance, in Victoria (Australia), locally-based commercial fishers utilize diversification (e.g. multiple targets, fishing areas, boats, or markets) as a means of managing the risks that characterize the biological and economic environments they experience. These strategies have contributed to numerical stability of the local fleet at a time when most southeastern Australian fishing fleets are in decline. In effect, the Lakes Entrance fishing community has avoided, or at least delayed, outcomes that are explicitly intended by recent approaches to fisheries management. An implication of these observations is that the behavior of fishers, including, importantly, how they manage risk, offer lessons for fisheries managers with respect to both why their plans often fail and why different plans could be more successful.
Key words: fisheries, management, diversification, risk, uncertainty, resistance, Southeast Australia