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American ValueMigrants, Money, and Meaning in El Salvador and the United States$
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David Pedersen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226653396

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226922775.001.0001

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(p.3) Introduction
American Value

David Pedersen

University of Chicago Press

In his 2004 book Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity, Samuel P. Huntington argued that America's national culture was at risk due to the recent decades of large-scale population migration from Latin America, particularly Mexico. As an example, he noted that 20 percent of the town of Intipucá in El Salvador lived in the Washington DC, neighborhood of Adams Morgan, suggesting that the town appeared to have “colonized” part of America's capital city. This book investigates the relations between El Salvador and the United States during the past five decades. It examines how and why El Salvador has shifted from growing and exporting high-quality coffee beans to sending remittances of more than two billion US dollars annually, courtesy of migrants living in the Washington DC, metropolitan area. Drawing from Karl Marx's approach to capitalist value determination and Charles Peirce's semeiotic logic, the book explores how people and the objective expressions of their social world have together helped shape the overall hemispheric transformation.

Keywords:   migration, migrants, remittances, Samuel P. Huntington, Intipucá, El Salvador, Washington DC, coffee beans, Karl Marx, capitalist value

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