Four Generations of Norteños: New Research from the Cradle of Mexican Migration

four-generations(distributed by Lynne Rienner Publishers)
Co-edited by Wayne A. Cornelius, David FitzGerald, and Scott Borger
Published 2009, 250 pages, paperback

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Drawing on decades of fieldwork in a high-emigration town in central Mexico, as well as a thousand recent interviews, the authors chart the town’s evolution from a source of short-term contract laborers during World War II to a present-day exporter of undocumented and legal migrants, many of whom now settle permanently in the US and have US-born children. They investigate how people-smuggling operates, whether border enforcement affects decisions to migrate, and migration’s impact on family, health, and the hometown economy. Their work sheds important new light on debates central to international migration studies.


“The topics vary widely, but cover many of the most important subfields in current immigration scholarship.”       — A. Gary Dworkin and Charles Munnell, Contemporary Sociology (read full review)

“Each essay contains new, fascinating, unexpected nuggets of fresh data…. There is not a boring chapter or irrelevant topic raised. Essential.”        — Choice

2009 Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title

“Written with rigorous clarity and each article is thematically connected to the book’s effort to provide an in-depth assessment of the complex migration of Tlacuitapeños.” — Latino Studies (read full review)


The Dynamics of Migration: Who Migrates? Who Stays? Who Settles Abroad?—J. Jarvis, A. Ponce, S. Rodríguez, and L. Cajigal García.

Is US Border Enforcement Working?—J. Sisco and J. Hicken.

Coyotaje: The Structure and Functioning of the People-Smuggling Industry —J. Fuentes and O. García.

Jumping the Legal Hurdles: Getting Visas, Green Cards, and US Citizenship—L. Vázquez, M. Luna Gómez, E. Law, and K. Valentine.

Development in a Remittance Economy: What Options Are Viable?—A. Macías, P. Nichols, E. Díaz, and A. Frenkel.

Outsiders in Their Own Hometown? The Process of Dissimilation—J. Serrano, K. Dodge, G. Hernández, and E. Valencia.

Families in Transition: Migration and Gender Dynamics in Sending and Receiving Communities—L. Muse-Orlinoff, J. Córdova, L. del Carmen Angulo, M. Kanungo, and R. Rodríguez.

The Migrant Health Paradox Revisited—E. Oristian, P. Sweeney, V. Puentes, J. Jiménez, and M. Ruiz.