Three different articles about the topic of immigration into Virginia

three different articles about the topic of immigration into Virginia

Like many other southeastern states Virginia, is being
transformed by a new and rapid influx of Latino immigrants. There has been a “Latinization” per say throughout the state in many ways through the growth of people of Latin American origin and their demands for cultural respect. Laura Zarrugh’s ‘The Latinization of the Central Shenandoah Valley’ explores in-depth the ways Latinization in Virginia, especially non-traditional immigration spots like the Shenandoah valley has effected the state. The Latinization of places like Harrisonburg is a case study in globalization as it is manifested at the local level. Zarrugh points out that For much of its history, the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains have sheltered and isolated the region from the rest of the world then juxtaposes it with the influx of new immigrants form mostly Latin backgrounds. Zarrugh does based upon long-term ethnographic research, while also tracing oral histories of labor relations and immigration from the last few decades. Looking at the strong influence of the Mennonite Church and closely allied Church of the Brethren on local values and attitudes informed by Anabaptist theology and a tradition of wanting to provide a better life for their families has led to somewhat of a common understanding between Mennonites and immigrants. Harrisonburg is also seeing a massive economic growth at this time which drives unemployment down; brining immigrants to the area; Zarrugh masterfully highlights the role of local agricultural industries. contrasting the 1960s and early 1970s, when most migrant laborers who came
through Rockingham County were African American men from Florida, by the
1980s the migrant camps housed mainly Mexican families. Unlike most of the south African Americans never made up a significant part of the workforce in the Shenandoah Valley, which makes the rise of Latin immigrants unprecedented. In 1982, approximately half of all workers in meat and poultry processing in the United States were unionized and earning US$ 10.69 an hour under United Food and Commercial Worker (UFCW) not in the south, Although there is no evidence that immigrants were used locally as strike breakers, it is well documented that meat-processing companies over time recruited and replaced unionized native-born workers with non-unionized immigrant workers; which has created a antagonism. The poultry-processing plants in the Harrisonburg area during the mid-1980s. On 2 June 1984, 450 workers, 70 per cent of them women, walked out on strike at Marval, this lead to the Union being killed after the Immigrants replaced the workers who went on strike. Rather interesting local labor story there. Zarrugh then looks at the facts that a return to migrants original home’s became more and more unlikely due to community bonds and growing roots. Zarrugh also looks at “daughter communities” and talks about the building of social bonds and the development of said communities.

Perfectly American: Constructing the Refugee Experience by David W. Haines and Karen E. Rosenblum talks about the fact that new refugees face issues unlike any other generation of refugees and yet there is still many common issues. refugees have often been the most visible and challenging of newcomers. They look at The resettlement of refugees in Richmond, Virginia which resulted in a small (but vastly increased) number of people with new social and cultural characteristics and created micro communities within the capital city. They then talk about how the press spins the “success stories” with the garnish of the horror stories from immigration. In its coverage of refugees, the local press appeared relatively unencumbered by the
usual requirements of ‘newsworthiness’. Such stories were treated as outside the
demands of impact or timeliness that usually govern the production of ‘news’. In the process of discussing refugees, press accounts touched on a variety of issues of practical and moral significance to the wider Richmond community; inflating the cities ego while also leaving many within the supposedly successful city suffering. Consequently, the category continued to endure as part of the history of this Southern city at the turn of the century, providing a readily-available construct and moral force for negotiating diversity. They cap the article off with a call for academics to rethink the way we approach complex issues such as Refugee’s at all and reassess the view of these people in the context of a massive global system. “we have an important opportunity to reassess the way key social categories are
constructed and how they present opportunities as well as limitations in a continuingly fluid world of human migration, global development and national retrenchment.”

Defining immigrant newcomers in new destinations: symbolic boundaries in Williamsburg, Virginia by Deenesh Sohoni and Jennifer Bickham Mendez looks at the ways historic Williamsburg uses said status to create boundaries for newcomers. They talk about the ways the media serves as a critical site of cultural and symbolic struggle where ideologies, identities, social meanings and beliefs about the world are negotiated and the role it plays in the construction of social categories of people, and in the creation of distinctions between those who should
and should not be included in the national imagined community. Local journalist only cover national topics informed by grand views; creating a system of isolation for those who are in the community these pieces are being published in. The 1990s also brought a wave of immigration from Latin American countries, While still a small amount of the population was apart of this growth is was the major issue of the time. As this group of culturally distinct newcomers became increasingly visible locally and as immigration surged onto the national agenda, immigration issues became the subject of heated public debate in Williamsburg. They used data from “We base our study on a data set comprised of news articles, letters to
the editors, op-ed pieces, columns and public commentary published
in the Virginia Gazette, the oldest, non-daily newspaper in the USA.
Serving the Greater Williamsburg area, the paper is published twice a
week and enjoys a paid circulation of 16,500″ to find and display the reactionary mindset that garbed Williamsburg; while avoiding some of the pitfalls of discourse analyses that rely solely on subjective interpretations. I think the final lines of this article are really great at highlighting the point of view: “If we can understand the
ways in which interpretative frameworks are adopted, applied and
reconfigured in particular local settings, perhaps we can imagine ways
to counter these representations and render more nuanced understandings of immigration issues that could set the stage for constructing a more inclusive society”

One Reply to “Three different articles about the topic of immigration into Virginia”

  1. Great job! And I’m especially glad you noted the significance of Sohoni and Mendez’s concluding comment about finding ways to change the discourse in American media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *