The introduction outlines the book’s main arguments and contributions and introduces the study’s primary settings, subjects, and methodology. In contrast to research that employs a passive language of “social ties,” the study emphasizes “social tying”—the dynamic, daily construction of connections. The chapter begins by situating the research within a broader context of anti-immigrant rhetoric and actions. Against this backdrop, the chapter calls for a deeper, more genuine understanding of how newcomers cultivate a sense of self and belonging in a new, sometimes hostile environment. It then makes the case for examining the significance of soccer and public parks in the lives of Latino immigrant men, especially in ways that shape their relationships and opportunities. By showing the context, meaning, and value of the very activities that sometimes serve to marginalize and criminalize this population, Fútbol in the Park serves as a rejoinder to those who may view these men and their behavior through the prism of narrow and dehumanizing stereotypes.
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