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Newcomers to Old TownsSuburbanization of the Heartland$
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Sonya Salamon

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226734125

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226734118.001.0001

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Blue-Collar Ethnic Accommodation: Corntown

Blue-Collar Ethnic Accommodation: Corntown

(p.113) 6 Blue-Collar Ethnic Accommodation: Corntown
Newcomers to Old Towns

Stacey Williams

University of Chicago Press

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

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