Sociologist to Discuss “Jalos USA” Feb. 17

Alfredo Mirandé's new book finds that connection to native community in Mexico fuels success for immigrants in Turlock, Calif.

Alfredo Mirande

Sociologist Alfredo Mirandé will discuss his latest book, “Jalos USA: Transnational Community and Identity,” at UCR on Feb. 17.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Alfredo Mirandé, professor of sociology and ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside, will discuss his book “Jalos USA: Transnational Community and Identity” (University of Notre Dame Press, 2014) on Tuesday, Feb. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at UC Riverside, Highlander Union Building 302S.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking in Lot 1 will cost $5. Light refreshments will be provided.

For generations, immigrants from the Mexican town of Jalostotitlán, Jalisco, have migrated between their native community — which they call “Jalos” — and Turlock in California’s Central Valley. Mirandé’s book examines this circular pattern of migration and how the ability of these migrants to stay connected to their native roots facilitates success in the United States.

Mirandé made numerous trips to Turlock and Jalostotitlán beginning in 2006 to observe and interview migrants who identify themselves as “being from Jalos.” Among others, he interviewed youth in Jalos and Turlock, as well as priests and social service providers.

He examined courtship, family, gender, and culture of this community and their impact on identity that transcends both the border and traditional national identities. He also identified an emerging ideology he calls “El Que Quiere, Puede” (“Those Who Want, Can”), which inspires Jalos residents to pursue a Mexican version of the American Dream and asserts that those who are motivated and hard-working can succeed in the U.S.

“ ‘Being  from Jalos,’ regardless of one’s place of birth or immigration status, is facilitated by biannual religious fiestas that reinforce identification with a global transnational community,” Mirandé explained when the book was published in June 2014. “Religious-based fiestas bring residents back to the community on pilgrimages that serve not only to promote a transnational Jalos identity but also as a dating and marriage market for young people.” 

His study also focuses on the role religion has played in a strongly Catholic region of Mexico that has a turbulent past and was at the center of the Cristero War, a counter-revolution against the anti-cleric policies of the ruling Mexican government in the 1920s and 1930s. He also examined the community’s veneration of and devotion to Toribio Romo, a young priest and Cristero War martyr from Jalos, popularly known as El Padre Pollero, or the patron saint of undocumented migrants.

Mirandé is the author of a number of books, including “The Stanford Law Chronicles: Doin’ Time on the Farm” (2007), “Gringo Justice” (1987), and “The Chicano Experience” (1985), all published by the University of Notre Dame Press; “The Age of Crisis” (1975, Harper & row), “La Chicana” (1981, University of Chicago Press); “Hombres y Machos: Masculinity and Chicano Culture” (1997, Westview Press); and “Rascuache Lawyer” ( 2011, University of Arizona Press). Another book, “Behind the Mask: An Indigenous Zapotec Third Gender,” is under contact with the University of California Press.

The lecture and book signing are co-sponsored by UCR Chicano Student Programs and the departments of Ethnic Studies and Sociology, and UC MEXUS.

For more information contact Chicano Student Programs at (951) 827-3821.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
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Additional Contacts

Chicano Student Programs
Tel: (951) 827-3821

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