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    In Search of Providence: Transnational Mayan Identities (Paperback) By (author) Patricia Foxen

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    DescriptionTraveling back and forth between the Guatemalan highlands and Providence, Rhode Island, the author followed the migration paths of a community of K'iche' Indians, often acting as a courier to bring news and photographs to families. As several said to the author, "Now you have lived with your own skin what we have gone through, only you can leave at any time." This ethnography juxtaposes the context of post-war reconstruction at home, shaped by a fragile institutional peace process and emerging pan-Maya movement, with the hidden, marginal lives of mostly undocumented K'iche' transmigrants in New England, and describes the continuous movement of people, money, symbols, and ideas between the two locations. Transnational migration creates tension between material success and K'iche' traditional suspicion of standing out and displaying that success. Showing off or losing touch with one's responsibilities at home can invite envidias (envy), chismes (malicious gossip), and even brujeria (witchcraft). Some of the perpetrators of violence in Guatemala have re-created their positions of dominance in Providence. One K'iche' recounts, "He used a notebook, like the one you have, and each time I took even a glass of water he would write it down. He charged me $300 just for arriving, those $300 were like a tip for him. He told me he would not help me find work, and he would drink a lot and would say, 'You thought it would be easy here, you thought it is just picking up dollars here - well, you are screwed.'" For students, the book provides rich accounts of the difficulties of entering the field and maintaining trust among people in divided and changing communities.

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  • Full bibliographic data for In Search of Providence

    In Search of Providence
    Transnational Mayan Identities
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Patricia Foxen
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 376
    Width: 152 mm
    Height: 229 mm
    Thickness: 29 mm
    Weight: 658 g
    ISBN 13: 9780826515803
    ISBN 10: 0826515800

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: SOC
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S3.2
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: JHMP
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 40
    Libri: I-HP
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1KLCG
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 17400
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Ingram Theme: CULT/LATAME
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET150
    Ingram Theme: ETHN/NATAMR
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET070
    Ingram Theme: ETHN/HISPNC
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 50
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: SOC044000
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 86
    BISAC V2.8: SOC007000, SOC021000
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 85
    BISAC V2.8: HIS007000
    BIC subject category V2: 1KLCG
    DC22: 305.897/42307452
    LC classification: F1465.2.Q5 F69 2007
    LC subject heading: , ,
    DC22: 305.89742307
    LC subject heading: , , , , , ,
    DC22: 305.89742307452
    BISAC region code:
    Thema V1.0: JBFH, JHM, JBSL, NHTB, JBSL11
    Thema interest age/special interest qualifier V1.0: 5PB-US-E
    Thema geographical qualifier V1.0: 1KLCG
    Thema interest age/special interest qualifier V1.0: 5PB-US-H
    Illustrations note
    references, index, glossary
    Vanderbilt University Press
    Imprint name
    Vanderbilt University Press
    Publication date
    15 March 2008
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    Patricia Foxen is a Research Associate at the Toronto General Hospital, Women's Health Program. She was previously a Research Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University, and has worked as an anthropologist for the Transcultural Psychiatry Division of Montreal Children's Hospital.
    Review quote
    Patricia Foxen has written an impressively thorough, sensitive, insightful, stereotype-and-complacency shattering, and thus also courageous, portrait of one of the most complex and tragic immigrant communities in the United States: the Guatemalan highland Maya of Providence, Rhode Island, for whom coming to the U.S. hardly means leaving Guatemala's horror or cultural pathologies behind. (How appropriate that this takes place in the city of HP Lovecraft!) I learned a great deal from this astonishing, beautifully written, brilliant and heartbreaking book.--Francisco Goldman