Latinos in Dixie

Class and Assimilation in Richmond, Virginia

By Debra J. Schleef & H.B. Cavalcanti

Subjects: Sociology, Immigration, Hispanic Studies, Ethnicity, Cultural Studies
Paperback : 9781438428802, 236 pages, July 2010
Hardcover : 9781438428796, 236 pages, October 2009

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
1. Why Study Latinos in Richmond?
2. Segmented Paths to Richmond
3. Many Roads to Richmond
4. Living in Multiple Worlds
5. Richmond Latino Families: Migrating Globally, Living Locally
6. Blue Collar Latinos, White Collar Latinos: Discrimination and Work Opportunity in Richmond
7. Religion and Secular Assimilation in Richmond
8. Public Life, Political Participation, and Community Presence
9. What Does It Mean to Be Latino in Dixie?
Appendix A: Incorporating Feminist Reflexivity in Survey Methodology
Appendix B: Survey Questionnaire
Appendix C: Comparisons of Latinos in Richmond Data with 2000 Census

A look at the Latino experience in the American South using data from Richmond, Virginia.


Confounding stereotypes, this book details the experiences of a growing but little-known group: Latinos who have settled in the American South. Authors Debra J. Schleef and H. B. Cavalcanti provide rich survey data from Richmond, Virginia, a midsize city where a Latino community has only recently emerged. Notably, many of the new arrivals in Richmond are middle-class professionals. From language use, ethnic customs, and family life to workplace dynamics and, ultimately, political and religious participation, this book explores what Latinos experience in moving to Richmond and what they bring to a city previously marked by only a black/white ethnic divide. The intersections of geographic mobility, isolation, and segmented assimilation processes are discussed and shown to intensify class differences, as well-educated Latino professionals dominate the cultural and political landscape while less-well-off immigrants remain marginal.

Debra J. Schleef is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Mary Washington and author of Managing Elites: Professional Socialization in Law and Business Schools. H. B. Cavalcanti is Professor of Sociology at James Madison University and author of Gloryland: Christian Suburbia, Christian Nation.


"…provides … useful quantitative data on recent migrant experiences and highlights the way that social class affects processes of assimilation. " — Journal of American Ethnic History