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Barrios to BurbsThe Making of the Mexican American Middle Class$
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Jody Vallejo

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804781398

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804781398.001.0001

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Ethnic Professional Associations and the Minority Culture of Mobility

Ethnic Professional Associations and the Minority Culture of Mobility

(p.143) 6 Ethnic Professional Associations and the Minority Culture of Mobility
Barrios to Burbs
Stanford University Press

Mexican Americans from middle-class backgrounds often follow the traditional linear route of assimilation into the middle class, where they eventually cross boundaries with whites. Socially mobile Mexican Americans face unique challenges that reinforce a class-based minority identity and give rise to a minority culture of mobility. A classic example of the minority culture of mobility is the establishment of, and participation in, ethnic professional associations that revolve around a minority middle-class identity and whose goal is to advance the mobility of coethnics. Focusing on a Latina professional organization, the Association of Latinas in Business (ALB), this chapter examines how a minority culture of mobility arises when social mobility and a larger social context of discrimination intersects with civic and ethnic resources in the ethnic community. It first discusses civic participation and the class context of Mexican American communities before analyzing how the ALB battles immigrant and gender stereotypes. The chapter also looks at intraclass conflict and social distancing within the ALB, and the limitations of the minority culture of mobility.

Keywords:   Mexican Americans, middle class, assimilation, minority culture, social mobility, Latinas in Business, stereotypes, civic participation, intraclass conflict, social distancing

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