The Dream Fields of Florida

The Dream Fields of Florida : Mexican Farmworkers and the Myth of Belonging

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Immigrant workers from indigenous communities who are working in low-wage jobs are often stigmatized for their origins, their status, and their poverty. For them, achieving the American Dream means overcoming the historic biases of contemporary economic, cultural, social, and political systems. The Dream Fields of Florida explores the limits of accessibility to the American Dream for Mexican-American farmworkers. Using ethnographic data from several immigrant communities in Florida, Ella Schmidt studies the intersecting and often contradicting issues of identity, citizenship, and belonging. She unravels the embedded structural inequalities of U.S. society and the ideological discourses that mask them and finds that only through playing by the rules can Mexican farmworkers be selectively granted second-class citizenship-if any at all. This book is a timely and increasingly necessary look at one of the most invisible populations in the United States, one that has been systematically ignored and continuously misrepresented. Contrary to their imposed labels as subservient 'illegal aliens, ' Mexican farmworkers are the epitome of agency, embodying the American ideals that are at the basis of the (Mexican-) American Dreamshow more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 160 pages
  • Lexington Books
  • MD, United States
  • 073913874X
  • 9780739138748

About Ella Schmidt

Ella Schmidt is assistant professor in the department of Anthropology, Criminology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at the University of South Florida, St. more

Review quote

This book is engaging and illuminating-sociology at its best-going beyond tabulation of quantitative data to provide insights about social dynamics in contemporary society. Ella Schmidt's observations, conversations, and analyses are well-embedded in a developing conceptual and research framework. She does not simply examine surface patterns of immigrant settlement like the sorts of valuable but constrained analyses that emerge from Pew, the Migration Policy Institute, and other DC think tanks. Her book contributes to better public understanding of the contemporary situation of farmworkers (more than half of whom are, indeed, unauthorized Mexican immigrants) at a time when we are about to reembark on public debate about immigration policy.--Edward Kissam, senior researcher, JBS Internationalshow more