Borderlands book cover

Beyond the Borderlands 
Copyright © 2011 Debra Lattanzi Shutika

Available via Amazon

Winner of the 2012 Chicago Folklore Prize


Beyond the Borderlands

Immigration from Mexico was once considered a localized problem. In the last three decades it has moved beyond the U.S.-Mexico borderlands to diverse communities across the U.S., with the most striking transformations in American suburbs and rural towns.  These new locations of immigrant settlement have generated new ways of thinking about immigration, belonging and local identity.  Beyond the Borderlands vividly captures the difficulties of the early years of Mexican settlement in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, a small farming village known as the “Mushroom Capital of the World.”  In an evocative and highly readable account based on a ten-year ethnographic study in Mexican and Pennsylvania, Beyond the Borderlands considers how feelings of belonging and displacement are central concerns for communities that have become new destinations of Mexican settlement. 

Beyond the Borderlands traces the process of migration and belonging, drawing on experiences of Mexican settlers and their American neighbors.   It demonstrates that newcomers and long-term residents must each adjust to the transformations brought on by immigration and the new community that is emerging as a result. Beyond the Borderlands completes the circle of migration, following Mexican families as they return to their home community in Mexico for holidays and vacations, and revealing the tenuous sense of belonging that Mexicans experience as they journey home.