Date of Award:

12-2019

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Committee

Erin Trouth Hofmann

Committee

Jessica Lucero

Committee

Peggy Petrzelka

Abstract

In this article, I draw on secondary interview data with LatinX immigrants in Cache Valley, Utah, an emerging new destination site in the Inter-Mountain West. While immigrants are drawn to new destinations by employment opportunities, quality of life, or low cost of living, they face many challenges in integrating socially into fairly homogenous communities, which can be particularly challenging for immigrant women. This thesis analyzes the ways in which gender affects social integration in the specific cultural and demographic context of Cache Valley. Using interviews with 16 men and women, I examine gender differences in perceptions of the community, experiences of discrimination, and plans to continue to reside within the community. I find high levels of integration among both men and women. Although discrimination and racism are common experiences, many of the respondents were quick to downplay these experiences and focused instead on their overall positive assessment of the community. Women were more attuned to the experience of racism and less willing to downplay it. They also were less likely to have a long-term plan to remain in the community, but this appeared to be more related to their consideration of other family members’ long-term plans, rather than due to their experiences of discrimination. Women’s integration in Cache Valley seems less problematic than in other new destinations, which may be related to demographic, geographic, and cultural factors.

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Sociology Commons

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