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Keywords:

  • Mexican;
  • Indiana;
  • migration;
  • belonging;
  • ethnicity]

Abstract

As state-based legislative measures continue to target undocumented immigrants in an all too familiar politics of belonging, the narratives of immigrants themselves remain marginalized. The following argues for the recuperation of voices elided by popular discourse and provides a space to explore the manifestations of belonging for Mexican residents. This type of belonging, what I am terming ethnic belonging, reconciles U.S. nationalism with ethnic solidarity and transnational networks. Ethnic belonging specifically refers to the uncoordinated ways individuals articulate an ethnic sense of belonging that can later impact community activism. I suggest that personal interaction in the workplace, in the classroom, and even at sporting events lay the foundational consciousness of ethnic belonging that critique dominant narratives of exclusion. Importantly, this project highlights the experiences of Mexicans in a small Midwestern town; thus, illustrating how collective resistance through ethnic belonging is critical for contemporary immigrants who settle in “new,” and perhaps unwelcoming, communities.