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Casa Puebla : an organizational ethnography Sevy Fua, Rosa Maria

Abstract

Mexican migrants living in New York City have not uprooted themselves from their homeland as did migrants from previous generations. These contemporary migrants have engaged themselves in the phenomenon of transnationalism, which is characterized by the building and maintenance of simultaneous linkages in both the migrants' country of settlement and their country of origin. New York City is the destination of a large number of Mexican migrants from different regions of the state of Puebla. Leaders of this Mexican state are increasingly engaging in new practices so that the Poblano (people from Puebla) population abroad remains socially, politically, culturally and economically part of the state from which it originated. This thesis is an ethnography of Casa Puebla, an organization in New York created conjointly by the Poblano migrants and their state government. It explores and describes the practices and activities employed by the leadership of this organization for involving migrants in a transnational experience. It also explores the role of this organization as a venue for the construction of a deterritorialized state of Puebla in New York and an "imagined" Poblano community. By strengthening the migrants' identification with their state of origin, the state can make new claims for their loyalty and sustain political, social and economic relationships between the Poblano migrants and their state of origin despite their living in another country. The creation of transnational organizations sponsored by the state of origin reflects the growing institutionalization of migration orchestrated by the sending regional states and highlights the role of the middle entity--the regional state— in the construction of the transnational experience.

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