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Women and children in a neighborhood advocacy group: engaging community and refashioning citizenship at the United States-Mexico border

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This article looks at the community participation of recent Latina immigrant mothers and their children in a neighborhood advocacy group near the US-Mexico border. It documents the work that women and children do as they struggle to become involved in their new community and improve their quality of life - despite legal, social, economic and cultural obstacles. Local context, family and ethnic networks, gendered patterns of women's experiences as immigrants and children participation in 'adult' decision-making are hugely important in understanding their community engagement. The article reflects on the advocacy work that women and children perform through a neighborhood group to argue for a difference-centered perspective on citizenship that is inspired by feminist thinking. Such a perspective makes sense in light of the ironic tensions within neo-liberal policies that, on the one hand, burden people with more responsibilities while, on the other hand, legislating against their freedom to pursue those responsibilities.

Keywords: children; citizenship; difference; women

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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