By Juan C. Guerra

ISBN-10: 0807737720

ISBN-13: 9780807737729

Presents an perception into the oral and written discourse of a longer community of Mexicanos residing in Chicago. This paintings explores the ways that the group's reports as immigrants have affected their linguistic practices.

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As such, we must remember that moving from one discourse community to another does not simply entail bridging a discontinuity, but more likely suggests a need for adaptation, for reorientation, for what Lu (1992) calls repositioning. In an attempt to come to terms with the circumstances that marginalize people, Close to Home explores the ways in which different members of the Page 14 social network use oral and written language to negotiate their way through the discursive challenges they face in the United States and Mexico.

Because obtaining personal letters from social network members proved a difficult task for me as a researcher, the first section discusses the problems I experienced. To establish a cross-cultural context for understanding these letters, I then review earlier research on personal letter-writing, focusing specifically on Scribner and Cole's (1981) work among the Vai of Liberia and Besnier's (1988, 1991, 1993, 1995) work among the residents of Nukulaelae, an atoll of the central Pacific. The chapter's final section examines the general characteristics and social functions, as well as the specific form and content, of letters written by members of the group.

While the famous saying usually attributed to Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz"Pobre México, tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos" ("Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States")is an extreme version of this perception, it reflects a relationship that is unlike the assumed or expressed relationship that many other national groups in the world have with the United States. The Immigration of Mexicanos to the United States The relationship and perception that many Mexican immigrants have developed began quite dramatically with Mexico ceding half its national territory to the United States in 1848.

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Close to home: oral and literate practices in a transnational Mexicano community by Juan C. Guerra


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