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DEALING WITH GRIEVANCES: THE LATINO EXPERIENCE IN PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

Macia, Laura (2012) DEALING WITH GRIEVANCES: THE LATINO EXPERIENCE IN PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

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Abstract

This dissertation examines how Latino immigrants in Pittsburgh, PA deal with their grievances. My central argument is that Latinos in Pittsburgh frame their grievance experiences through hybrid normative systems which are constructed from both the knowledge and experience about legal and social norms that they bring from their countries of origin, as well as from the specific experiences, flows of information, knowledge and perceptions accessible to them about the receiving legal culture. Given the limited availability of formal structures set in place to accommodate incoming migrants, Latinos form their understandings of the American social and legal culture from their own first-hand experiences, along with the information advanced to them by their personal support networks. These networks provide migrants with information, second-hand experience and support, and thus in many cases become pivotal support structures in a place where Latinos tend to perceive themselves as existing on the peripheries of a dominant culture. Not surprisingly, some of the norms that are ultimately adopted into the hybrid legal systems serve as protective mechanisms for these support networks, discouraging grievance processing mechanisms that could hurt these personal relationships or that could create future problems within them.

Data on decision-making about how to pursue grievances were gathered from twenty in-depth interviews with Latinos from North, Central and South America, observation of on-going disputes and 199 memory cases that were collected. Informants for the interviews were chosen from a fairly representative list of Latinos in the Pittsburgh area: six of the interviewees were purposively sampled as spouses of American citizens and 14 were chosen by stratified purposive sampling according to type of occupation (―blue‖ or ―white‖ collar). The data gathered from these interviews were both qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed. This project is significant because, theoretically, it proposes changing hybridization as an alternative way of characterizing the transnational experience, particularly as it relates to the experience of legal and social norms. In so doing, the project also makes applied contributions by revealing the importance of differentiated but comprehensive entry level education to immigrants about the cultural and normative expectations that they face living in the United States.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Macia, Lauralam60@pitt.eduLAM60
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairScaglion, Richardscaglion@pitt.eduSCAGLION
Committee MemberDocumet, Patriciapdocumet@pitt.eduPDOCUMET
Committee MemberHayden, Robertrhayden@pitt.eduRHAYDEN
Committee MemberSanabria, Harrysanabria@pitt.eduSANABRIA
Date: 29 June 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 19 August 2011
Approval Date: 29 June 2012
Submission Date: 11 February 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 345
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Anthropology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: transnationalism, support networks, hybridity, United States, legal anthropology, new growth area
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2012 14:45
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:56
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11041

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