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Contemporary Conversations on Immigration in the United States
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Understanding the United States through the Immigrant Life Course Part I: Contexts of Immigrant Experience Chapter 1: The People of Prince George's County Chapter 2: Conversations about County Identity Part II: Testimonies of Immigrant Experience Chapter 3: Growing Up, Making an Exit Decision, and Leaving Chapter 4: Immigrant Journeys Chapter 5: Life Changes in New Destinations Part III: Globalizing the Immigrant Experience Chapter 6: Ideology of the "Good Life" Chapter 7: Imagined and Empirical Frontiers Epilogue: To Continue the Conversations Appendix 1: Immigrant Experience Interview Schedule Appendix 2: Video Links

About the Author

Judith Noemi Freidenberg is professor of anthropology at the University of Maryland and director of The Anthropology of the Immigrant Life Course Research Program.

Reviews

Judith Freidenberg's Contemporary Conversations on Immigration in the United States: The View from Prince George's County, Maryland enhances a growing literature that argues for understanding the U.S. immigrant experience through a focus on local places as contexts of settlement. Freidenberg skillfully weaves historical data together with media analysis and immigrant voices to tell the story of Prince George's County in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She argues that native-born acceptance is a major influence on the experience of immigrants. Furthermore, this book offers an insightful and powerful critique of the process by which a social issue becomes a social problem. Policy-makers should particularly take notice of these key points. They are instrumental to immigration reform. -- Caroline B. Brettell, Southern Methodist University
[The book is] an excellent introductory work to a different way of thinking about the problem of immigration in the United States for young people starting their higher education. In the immediate future, they will face political decisions that depend on understanding immigration as a social issue. [translated from original Spanish] * Resenas Bibliograficas *
The immigration reform packages introduced, debated, and, in recent history, killed in Congress have very little and quite a lot to do with the lives of the immigrants who live in Washington, D.C.'s shadow as revealed in Freidenberg's book. Although from diverse origins, the experiences of immigrants-at home and abroad-are surprisingly similar. In their daily lives, the immigrants whose voices are central to Freidenberg's account are affected primarily in the sense that the failure of Congress to act creates a nagging sense of lived ambivalence. Yet in their life courses, the continuing lack of comprehensive immigration reform translates into frustrated hopes and persistent downward mobility. Emphasizing immigration as an issue rather than a problem, Freidenberg is careful to allow the immigrants of Prince George's County to speak for themselves rather than either imposing her own interpretations on their thoughts and actions, or pushing them to the sidelines by means of a more abstract and erudite discussion of immigration, reserving her commentary to succinct summaries of the lived experiences of immigrants. The resulting merger of indigenous and intellectual knowledge is not only original but also develops a rich and at times subtle understanding the complexities of immigrants' lives. -- David Griffith, East Carolina University
Judith Freidenberg's Contemporary Conversations on Immigration in the United States: The View from Prince George's County, Maryland enhances a growing literature that argues for understanding the U.S. immigrant experience through a focus on local places as contexts of settlement. Freidenberg skillfully weaves historical data together with media analysis and immigrant voices to tell the story of Prince George's County in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She argues that native-born acceptance is a major influence on the experience of immigrants. Furthermore, this book offers an insightful and powerful critique of the process by which a social issue becomes a social problem. Policy-makers should particularly take notice of these key points. They are instrumental to immigration reform. -- Caroline B. Brettell, Southern Methodist University
By centering her narrative on migrant's voices and testimonies, Freidenberg provides a textured analysis of the larger structures, histories, and contexts that affect contemporary immigration. The result is a welcomed antidote to the homogenizing narratives on immigration that dominate public debate and existing scholarship. -- Arlene Davila, New York University
The immigration reform packages introduced, debated, and, in recent history, killed in Congress have very little and quite a lot to do with the lives of the immigrants who live in Washington, D.C.'s shadow as revealed in Freidenberg's book. Although from diverse origins, the experiences of immigrants-at home and abroad-are surprisingly similar. In their daily lives, the immigrants whose voices are central to Freidenberg's account are affected primarily in the sense that the failure of Congress to act creates a nagging sense of lived ambivalence. Yet in their life courses, the continuing lack of comprehensive immigration reform translates into frustrated hopes and persistent downward mobility. Emphasizing immigration as an issue rather than a problem, Freidenberg is careful to allow the immigrants of Prince George's County to speak for themselves rather than either imposing her own interpretations on their thoughts and actions, or pushing them to the sidelines by means of a more abstract and erudite discussion of immigration, reserving her commentary to succinct summaries of the lived experiences of immigrants. The resulting merger of indigenous and intellectual knowledge is not only original but also develops a rich and at times subtle understanding the complexities of immigrants' lives. -- David Griffith, East Carolina University

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