Blue-Collar Ethnic Accommodation: Corntown

Stacey Williams

in Newcomers to Old Towns

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780226734125
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226734118 | DOI:
Blue-Collar Ethnic Accommodation: Corntown

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This chapter presents a case study on the entry of newcomers or migrants in the rural town of Corntown, Illinois. The town's agribusinesses and the availability of seasonal farm work served early as a magnet for rural workers. The large influx of a distinctive minority, particularly Mexicanos, produced sharp community tensions and the locals became hostile toward what they considered an annual alien invasion of their cohesive and homogeneous community. This chapter describes how the Mexicanos mobilized in ways that sustained their ethnic identity and their strongly interconnected ethnic group, even while they took on aspects of a new identity as midwestern small-town citizens.

Keywords: migrants; rural town; Corntown; Illinois; agribusiness; rural workers; Mexicanos; homogenous community; ethnic identity; small-town citizens

Chapter.  7557 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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