Migrants and Migration in Modern North America

Cross-Border Lives, Labor Markets, and Politics

Migrants and Migration in Modern North America

Book Pages: 456 Illustrations: 1 photo, 6 tables, 20 maps, 8 figures Published: September 2011

Geography, History > World History, Sociology > Migration Studies

Presenting an unprecedented, integrated view of migration in North America, this interdisciplinary collection of essays illuminates the movements of people within and between Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the United States over the past two centuries. Several essays discuss recent migrations from Central America as well. In the introduction, Dirk Hoerder provides a sweeping historical overview of North American societies in the Atlantic world. He also develops and advocates what he and Nora Faires call “transcultural societal studies,” an interdisciplinary approach to migration studies that combines migration research across disciplines and at the local, regional, national, and transnational levels. The contributors examine the movements of diverse populations across North America in relation to changing cultural, political, and economic patterns. They describe the ways that people have fashioned cross-border lives, as well as the effects of shifting labor markets in facilitating or hindering cross-border movement, the place of formal and informal politics in migration processes and migrants’ lives, and the creation and transformation of borderlands economies, societies, and cultures. This collection offers rich new perspectives on migration in North America and on the broader study of migration history.

Contributors. Jaime R. Aguila. Rodolfo Casillas-R., Nora Faires, Maria Cristina Garcia, Delia Gonzáles de Reufels, Brian Gratton, Susan E. Gray, James N. Gregory, John Mason Hart, Dirk Hoerder, Dan Killoren, Sarah-Jane (Saje) Mathieu, Catherine O’Donnell, Kerry Preibisch, Lara Putnam, Bruno Ramirez, Angelika Sauer, Melanie Shell-Weiss, Yukari Takai, Omar S. Valerio-Jiménez, Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez


“This is integrationist approach serves as an exemplar for teaching and research in both migration and border-lands studies. Migrants and Migration in Modern North America presents a kaleidoscopic picture of human mobility by analyzing migration patterns from precontact to the present, from the “top down” and from the “bottom-up,” and by considering a range of movement among local borderlands communities to sweeping diasporic experiences of First Peoples, Mexicans, Canadians, Americans, Asians, and Caribbean migrants.” — Dominique Brégent-Heald, H-Net Reviews

“For such a large topic, each contributor does an excellent job of summarizing his or her field, and the book comes together to present a swirling depiction of relocating populations that is complex yet understandable…. Overall, it is a well-written, enlightening account of dozens of population movements across modern North America that puts together current scholarship on migration in an interesting, readable manner.” — Zachary Adams, Southwestern Historical Quarterly

“The introductory essay by Hoerder… is exemplary…. Replete with innovative maps, his account decries the ‘Westward ho’ trope of the continent’s migration history distilled into an advance of civilization from the Atlantic coast across the prairies, to the neglect of population movements in the northern and southern US borderlands and of trans-Pacific immigration.” — Population and Development Review

“The significance of creating scholarly dialogue between the ever-expanding fields of migration history in the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Central America, and the United States, not to mention studies of the southwestern borderlands, should not be overlooked. For scholars already well versed in current migration theory, this comparative aspect represents the volume’s greatest strength.” — Matthew Casey, Hispanic American Historical Review

"Migrants and Migration in Modern North America successfully presents a comprehensive view of historical North American migration." — Alyssa Reisner, Journal of the North Carolina Association of Historians

“This collection achieves a feat of thematic and conceptual integration. It explores the demographic, socioeconomic, political, and symbolic role of migration in the formation of North American nations. Yet it transcends national borders and categories with examinations of the local, regional, borderlands, and hemispheric mobility of indigenous peoples, Asians, Europeans, Afro-descendants, Latinos, and Anglo- and French-Canadians, among other sub- and supra-national groups. The result is a combination of macro- and micro-perspectives that illuminates both the forest and the trees.” — José C. Moya, author of Cousins and Strangers: Spanish Immigrants in Buenos Aires, 1850–1930

“This excellent collection is easily the best effort to date to interpret North American migrations. It takes seriously the inclusion of the Caribbean and Central America in its purview, successfully integrates analyses that range from the micro- to the macro-levels, and incorporates a long-term perspective that connects studies of ‘pre-historic’ Native America and the early-modern slave trade to modern studies of ‘immigration’ and ‘refugees.’ Best of all, it provides readers with a marvelous introduction to the ways that a North American perspective on human movement differs, often remarkably so, from the national perspectives developed within the historiographies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.” — Donna R. Gabaccia, author of Immigration and American Diversity: A Social and Cultural History


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Dirk Hoerder taught North American social history, the history of global migrations, borderland studies, and the sociology of migrant acculturation at Arizona State University. He is the author of many books, including Cultures in Contact: World Migrations in the Second Millennium, also published by Duke University Press. Hoerder lives in Salzburg, Austria.

The late Nora Faires was Professor of History and of Gender and Women’s Studies at Western Michigan University and co-author of A History of Women in America.

Table of Contents Back to Top
List of Maps xi

Preface / Dirk Hoerder and Nora Faires xiii

Introduction. Migration, People's Lives, Shifting and Permeable Borders: The North American and Caribbean Societies in the Atlantic World / Dirk Hoerder 1

Part I. Intersocietal Migrations

1. Mirando atrás: Mexican Immigration from 1876 to 2000 / Jaime R. Aguila and Brian Gratton 49

2. Through the Northern Borderlands: Canada-U.S. Migrations in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries / Bruno Ramirez 76

3. The Making and Unmaking of the Circum-Caribbean Migratory Sphere: Mobility, Sex across Boundaries, and Collective Destinies, 1840–1940 / Lara Putnam 99

Part II. Connecting Borderlands, Littorals, and Regions

4. Population Movements and the Making of Canada-U.S. Not-So-Foreign Relations / Nora Faires 129

5. Greater Southwest North America: A Region of Historical Integration, Disjunction, and Imposition / Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez with Dirk Hoerder 150

6. Independence and Interdependence: Caribbean-North American Migration in the Modern Era / Melanie Shell-Weiss 174

7. Migration to Mexico, Migration in Mexico: A Special Case on the North American Continent / Delia González de Ruefels with Dirk Hoerder 188

8. The Construction of Borders: Building North American Nations, Building a Continental Perimeter, 1890s–1920s / Angelika E. Sauer 210

9. The United States-Mexican Border as Material and Cultural Barrier / Omar S. Valerio-Jiménez 228

Part III. Complicating Narratives

10. Migration and the Seasonal Round: An Odawa Family's Story / Susan E. Gray 253

11. Market Interactions in a Borderland Setting: A Case Study of the Gila River Pima of Arizona, 1846–1862 / Dan Killoren 264

12. Paying Attention to Moving Americans: Migration Knowledge in the Age of Internal Migration, 1930s–1970s / James N. Gregory 277

13. The Black Experience in Canada Revisited / Sarah-Jane (Saje) Mathieu 297

14. Circumnavigating Controls: Transborder Migration of Asian-Origin Migrants during the Period of Exclusion / Yukari Takai 313

15. Migration and Capitalism: The Rise of the U.S.-Mexican Border / John Mason Hart 333

Part IV. Contemporary and Applied Perspectives

16. Central American Migration and the Shaping of Refugee Policy / María Cristina Garcia 347

17. Central American Transmigrants: Migratory Movement of Special Interest to Different Sectors within and outside Mexico / Rodolfo Casillas-R. 364

18. Interrogating Managed Migration's Model: A Counternarrative of Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program / Kerry Preibisch 377

19. 1867 and All That . . .: Teaching the American Survey as Continental North American History / Angelika Sauer and Catherine O'Donnell 391

About the Contributors 399

Index 401
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5051-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5034-7
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