An outgrowth of the Borderlife Research Project conducted at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Batos, Bolillos, Pochos, and Pelados uses the voices of several hundred Valley residents, collected by embedded student researchers and backed by the findings of sociological surveys, to describe the lives of migrant farmworkers, colonia residents, undocumented domestic servants, maquiladora workers, and Mexican street children. Likewise, it explores social, racial, and ethnic relations in South Texas among groups such as Latinos, Mexican immigrants, wealthy Mexican visitors, Anglo residents or tourists, and Asian and African American residents of South Texas. With this firsthand material and an explanatory focus that utilizes and applies social-science theoretical concepts, the book thoroughly addresses the future composition and integration of Latinos into the society and culture of the United States.
Chad Richardson is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. His previous books include On the Edge of the Law: Culture, Labor, and Deviance on the South Texas Border, coauthored with Rosalva Resendiz.
Michael Pisani is a professor of international business at Central Michigan University. He coauthored The Informal and Underground Economy of the South Texas Border with Chad Richardson.
The third volume in UT–Pan American's Borderlife Project, this eye-opening investigation draws on vivid ethnographic interviews, bolstered by decades of supplemental data, to reveal a culture where divided loyalties, paired with a lack of access to protection under the law and other forms of state-sponsored recourse, have given rise to social spectra that often defy stereotypes. A cornerstone of the authors' findings is that these economic activities increase when citizens perceive the state's intervention as illegitimate, whether in the form of fees, taxes, or regulation. From living conditions in the impoverished colonias to President Felipe Calderón's futile attempts to eradicate police corruption in Mexico, this book is a riveting portrait of benefit versus risk in the wake of a "no-man's-land" legacy.
Giddings notes that unlike other organizations with racial goals, Delta Sigma Theta was created to change and benefit individuals rather than society. As a sorority, it was formed to bring women together as sisters, but at the some time to address the divisive, often class-related issues confronting black women in our society. There is, in Giddings's eyes, a tension between these goals that makes Delta Sigma Theta a fascinating microcosm of the struggles of black women and their organizations.
DST members have included Mary McLeod Bethune, Mary Church Terrell, Margaret Murray Washington, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, and, on the cultural side, Leontyne Price, Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, Judith Jamison, and Roberta Flack. In Search of Sisterhood is full of compelling, fascinating anecdotes told by the Deltas themselves, and illustrated with rare early photographs of the Delta women.
Since 1982, faculty and students associated with the Borderlife Research Project at the University of Texas-Pan American have interviewed thousands of Valley residents to investigate and describe the cultural and social life along the South Texas-Northern Mexico border. In this book, Borderlife researchers clarify why Valley culture presents so many apparent contradictions as they delve into issues that are "on the edge of the law"—traditional health care and other cultural beliefs and practices, displaced and undocumented workers, immigration enforcement, drug smuggling, property crime, criminal justice, and school dropout rates. The researchers' findings make it plain that while these issues present major challenges for the governments of the United States and Mexico, their effects and contradictions are especially acute on the border, where residents must daily negotiate between two very different economies; health care, school, and criminal justice systems; and worldviews.