Latino Studies

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 28–54 | Cite as

From national to topophilic attachments: Continuities and changes in Chicago's Mexican migrant organizations

  • Xóchitl Bada
Original Article


The study of early transnational connections between Chicago-based Mexican organizations and the Mexican government is important for understanding the roots of contemporary practices of civic binationality in the city of Chicago. This article presents a historical analysis of Mexican migrant organizations in the city of Chicago and the metropolitan area to understand continuities, similarities and differences between contemporary Mexican hometown associations and early-twentieth-century organizations. Using original archival sources to map the historical evolution of Mexican migrant organizations, the article demonstrates that contemporary Mexican hometown associations established in the 1980s are not an entirely new phenomenon. While every migratory wave had its unique transnational characteristics, early-migrant organizations engaged in transnational practices with the Mexican state through the consulate and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; neither established working collaborations with state governments and municipalities nor used topophilic identities as organizing banners.


Mexican migrant organizations civic binationality Chicago's history topophilic identities hometown associations transnational practices 


  1. Anderson, B. 1983. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Año Nuevo Kerr, L. 1976. The Chicano Experience in Chicago, 1920 to 1970. PhD dissertation, Department of History, University of Illinois at Chicago.Google Scholar
  3. Año Nuevo Kerr, L. n.d. Three Generations of Mexican Migration to Chicago. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois at Chicago [unpublished manuscript].Google Scholar
  4. Bada, X. 2007. The Binational Civic and Political Engagement of Mexican Migrant Hometown Associations and Federations in the United States. Iberoamericana 7 (25): 129–142.Google Scholar
  5. Badillo, D.A. 2001. Religion and Transnational Migration in Chicago: The Case of the Potosinos. Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 94 (4): 420–440.Google Scholar
  6. Bailey, J. 1994. Centralism and Political Change in Mexico: The Case of National Solidarity. In Transforming State-Society Relations in Mexico. The National Solidarity Strategy, eds. A.C. Wayne, L.C. Ann and J. Fox, 97–119. San Diego, CA: University of California.Google Scholar
  7. Bodnar, J. 1981. Ethnic Fraternal Benefit Associations: Their Historical Development, Character and Significance. InRecords of Ethnic Fraternal Benefit Associations in the United States: Essays and Inventories, 5–14. St. Paul, MN: Immigration History Research Center.Google Scholar
  8. Bodnar, J.E. 1985. The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Cohen, L. 1990. Making a New Deal. Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919–1939. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Drake St, C. and H.R. Cayton . 1945. Black Metropolis. A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  11. Durand, J. and P. Arias . 2008. Mexicanos en Chicago: Diario de Campo de Robert Redfield, 1924-1925. Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa.Google Scholar
  12. Escala Rabadán, L., X. Bada and G. Rivera-Salgado . 2006. Mexican Migrant Civic and Political Participation in the U.S.: The Case of Hometown Associations in Los Angeles and Chicago. Norteamérica 1 (2): 127–172.Google Scholar
  13. Espinosa, V.M. 1999. The Federation of Michoacán Clubs in Illinois. The Chicago–Michoacán Project Report. Chicago, IL: Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights.Google Scholar
  14. Fitzgerald, D. 2009. A Nation of Emigrants. How Mexico Manages Its Migration. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  15. Gamio, M. 1930. Mexican Immigration to the United States: A Study of Human Migration and Adjustment. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  16. García, J.R. 1996. Mexicans in the Midwest, 1900–1932. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  17. Glazer, N. and P. Moynihan . 1970. Beyond the Melting Pot. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Gómez-Robledo Verduzco, A. 1994. Derecho Internacional y Nueva Ley de Nacionalidad Mexicana. Boletín Mexicano de Derecho Comparado 27 (80): 315–345.Google Scholar
  19. González y González, L. 1995. Pueblo en Vilo: microhistoria de San José de Gracia. Zamora, Spain: El Colegio de Michoacán.Google Scholar
  20. Grindle, M.S. 2007. Going Local. Decentralization, Democratization, and the Promise of Good Governance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Hirabayashi, L.R. 1986. The Migrant Village Association in Latin America: A Comparative Analysis. Latin American Research Review 21 (3): 7–29.Google Scholar
  22. Innis-Jiménez, M.D. 2009. Beyond the Baseball Diamond and Basketball Court: Organized Leisure in Interwar Mexican Chicago. The International Journal of the History of Sport 26 (7): 906–923.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Iskander, N.N. 2010. Creative State. Forty Years of Migration and Development Policy in Morocco and Mexico. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Jiménez, T.R. 2009. Replenished Ethnicity. Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  25. Lomnitz, C. 2001. Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  26. López Ángel, G. 2004. Membresía e identidad en procesos migratorios translocales: la experiencia de la Asociación Micaltepecana. In Clubes de migrantes oriundos mexicanos en los Estados Unidos. La política transnacional de la nueva sociedad civil migrante, eds. G. Lanly and M. Basilia Valenzuela Varela, 287–314. Guadalajara, Mexico: Universidad de Guadalajara.Google Scholar
  27. Mora-Torres, J. 2006. Me voy p’al norte (I’m Going North): The Great Mexican Migration of 1890–1932. Unpublished Manuscript.Google Scholar
  28. Morawska, E. 2001. Migrants, Transnationalism, and Ethnicization: A Comparison of This Great Wave and the Last. In E Pluribus Unum? Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on Migrant Incorporation, eds. G. Gerstle and J.J. Mollenkopf, 175–212. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  29. Moya, J.C. 2005. Immigrants and Associations: A Global and Historical Perspective. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 31 (5): 833–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Paral, R. 2006. Latinos of the New Chicago. In The New Chicago. A Social and Cultural Analysis, eds. J.P. Koval, L. Bennett, M.I.J. Bennett, F. Demissie, R. Garner, and K. Kim, 105–114. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Pescador, J.J. 2004. ¡Vamos Taximaroa! Mexican/Chicano Soccer Associations and Transnational/Translocal Communities, 1967–2002. Latino Studies 2 (3): 352–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rosales, F.A. 1978. Mexican Immigration to the Urban Midwest During the 1920s. PhD dissertation, Department of History, Indiana University.Google Scholar
  33. Santamaría Gómez, A. 2001. Mexicanos en Estados Unidos: la Nación, la Política y el Voto sin Fronteras. Mexico: Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa/PRD.Google Scholar
  34. Sherman, R. 1999. From State Introversion to State Extension in Mexico: Modes of Emigrant Incorporation, 1900–1997. Theory and Society 28 (6): 835–878.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sulski, J. 1980. Mexican Groups form Federation. In The Daily Calumet, America's Oldest Community Daily Newspaper, Chicago Historical Society, 1 August.Google Scholar
  36. Terrazas, A. 2010. Mexican Immigrants in the United States. US in Focus of the Migration Information Series. Washington DC: Migration Policy Institute.Google Scholar
  37. Thomas, W.I. and F. Znaniecki . 1927. The Polish Peasant in Europe and America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  38. Tuan, Y-F. 1974. Topophilia: A Study of Environmental Perception, Attitudes, and Values. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  39. Valdés, D.N. 2000. Barrios Norteños: St Paul and Midwesterner Communities in the Twentieth Century. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  40. Wolf, E. 1957. Closed-Corporate Communities in Mesoamerica and Java. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 13 (1): 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xóchitl Bada
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Illinois at Chicago

Personalised recommendations