An ethnographic crossing : voices from the Latino community in Yamhill County, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3484zm99z

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  • Changing demographics in Oregon, accompanied by a rising Latino population, serve to dispel myths that we live in homogeneous, monolithic communities. Migration studies indicate migration is reshaping communities, contributing to ethnic diversity thus challenging our notion of identity and culture. Through the medium of oral histories and ethnography, this study describes the composition of the Latino Community in Yamhill County, identifying migration, immigration, and sociohistorical processes that formed the community. This work explores ideas of ethnicity, identity, and community building and how it has shaped Latino context and experience in Yamhill County. The voices of the participants express how they interpret their context and ways in which they are shaping it to be their own. This study also investigates the ways in which the participants interpret the American dream, essentially, what success means to them and what tensions inhibit full participation in the community. Like the pioneers on the Oregon Trail, they too came in search of freedom, of opportunity, of adventure. They tolerated discrimination and isolation along their journey--yet similar to the Oregon Trail pioneers, they pooled resources, they endured hardship, they persevered--to achieve their dreams. They counter the stereotypes of minorities expecting handouts or entitlements; rather, they have pursued their dreams and hopes in the face of obstacles those from the culture of power rarely even recognize. Their pioneering spirit adds a new dimension to the stories told about the Oregon country. Their stories tell us more about our country and more about ourselves.
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