ERIC Number: EJ718812
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Community, Ethnicity, and Class in a Changing Rural California Town
Rural Sociology, v70 n3 p314-335 Sep 2005
This study investigates how "community" is constructed, maintained, and contested among diverse residents of a rural town in California's Central Valley. Drawing on observations, interviews, and archival material, I examine the way in which ethnicity and class play a significant role in recasting how community is organized and interpreted by Mexicans and long-term white residents. In my field site, Mexicans have long been involved in (in)formal community-making, yet long-term white residents perceive a "loss of community" because social relations are no longer structured around an agrarian culture that at one time reinforced ties through volunteerism and interaction in local mainstream institutions. This article demonstrates the continual significance of "place" and "interaction" in defining community, but suggests that immigrants develop "communities of need" aimed at providing important social, emotional, and political support absent in mainstream society. Finally, this study also speaks of the competition for representation and respectability among rural residents developing a sense of belonging.
Descriptors: Municipalities, Mexicans, Interaction, Immigrants, Ethnicity, Rural Areas, Social Class, Community, Racial Relations, Whites
Rural Sociological Society, 104 Gentry Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211-7040. Tel: 573-882-9065; Fax: 573-882-1473; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California