Transnationalism Bibliography

Question(s) addressed by the author and working arguments

It examines the cultural and political dynamics that result when migrants from indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, migrate to the United States. Indigenous peoples from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, although deeply incorporated into California labor markets, live and work within settings where they are ghettoized and marginalized from mainstream Anglo and Chicano society. Agencies of the Mexican state, in turn, have attempted to retain influence over the associations by nurturing their members’ indigenous identities.

The term transnational has two meanings. One refers to individual and communities spanning national borders. The second sense of transnationalism concerns political, social, and cultural practices whereby citizens of a nation-state -in this case Mexicans nationals who are also indigenous peoples- construct social forms and identity that in part escape from the cultural and political hegemony of their nation-state.

Transnationalism in the second sense thus implies escaping from or otherwise surpassing or minimizing the power of the nation-state to control it from identity.

The new politics are also shaped by the political orientations of the indigenous associations, especially those of the Mixtecs, which tend to oppose the ruling PRI party which for generations has been virtually synonymous with the Mexican state. The situation of the Zapotecs in Los Angeles is comparable to that of Mixtecs in rural California. Just as Zapotecs in Los Angeles tend to work in low-paying jobs with few benefits and little chance of advancement, so also they do live in large neighborhoods of other foreign nationals who similarly struggle to survive in the same post-fordist economic niches.

Conceptual references to transnational – transnationalism

Transnational, transnationalism, transnational associations and transnational Oaxacan organizations.

Conclusions or Final Remarks

The formation of the transnational Oaxacan organizations is unprecedented in history of the Mexican indigenous peoples. The state has thus entered into a dialectical relationship with the transnational associations, whereby in attempting to retain hegemony over its indigenous nationals in Mexico and California it also nurtures an indigenous identity that is the basis of culturally and politically independent organizations that escape in part the hegemony of the nation-state.