The Role of Latina Women in Migration, Immigration, and Adaptation: Patterns in Central Indiana

Friday, 20 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Jennifer GREIVING, University of Colorado Denver, USA
Anayeli LĂ“PEZ, University of Colorado Denver, USA
Ruben VIRAMONTEZ-ANGUIANO, University of Colorado Denver, USA
The Latino population in the United States has increased significantly over the last two decades. In North Central Indiana, the Latino population grew by over 500% during the early 2000s (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Many of these families emigrate in order to pursue educational and social opportunities for their family members. As immigrant Latino families settle into these ethnic enclaves, family roles must adapt in order to navigate new social structures in schools and society. Latina women tend to take on new roles in the community, building social capital using service and leadership. Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model is used as a lens through which to view the difficulties and triumphs of resettlement and the development of new social capital.

This study focused on an ethnography of 63 families in the North Central Indiana region. Data were collected over the course of three years through an ethnographic study. Other forms of qualitative methods were used, including interviews, observations, and continued interactions with the families in the community. As a result, the researchers became active participants with the families in North Central Indiana.

Of those 63 families, 13 women were identified by community members as producing social capital both within and outside their family units. For this presentation, we look at how the family roles of Latina women changed due to their migration. We include information about aspects of motherwork within the family, with emphasis on familismo and educación, and also outside of the family, producing social capital using servant leadership and value systems (Lopez and Viramontez-Anguiano, 2013). Latina immigrant women provided advocacy that promoted both educational outcomes of Latino youth and better well-being for Latino immigrant families. Implications for practice and research include how the participation of Latina women is critical for culturally responsive outreach with Latino communities in the United States.