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Urban Citizenship in New York, Paris, and Barcelona: Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City


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Building on ethno-surveys and multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork conducted in New York, Paris, and Barcelona, this chapter discusses immigrant representation, ethnic organizations, urban citizenship rights, and minority political participation in these cities. It describes how organizations and institutions differently mediate immigrant political incorporation, social integration, and structural assimilation given the different social, political, and institutional contexts of each city. Structural assimilation is defined by Milton Gordon as the moment when immigrant groups enter "fully into the societal network of [mainstream and powerful] groups and institutions" (Gordon, 1964, cited in Jiménez, 2010, p. 71). This would include the opportunity for upward social mobility, the lack of residential segregation, intermarriage, and the potential for participation in politics and public activities as equals (Gordon, 1964). The prospect of structural assimilation is important to understand the immigrants' objective and subjective belonging to the cities where they live. For undocumented immigrants, establishing their collective right to inhabit a new city first and foremost is crucial in opening the door for a further "right to the city," which entails the ability to fully participate and transform the cities where they live to the benefit of its inhabitants over that of capital (Lefebvre, 1968). Different ideas of what constitute legitimate political and cultural organizations provide distinct avenues to participate politically in urban life.
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Library of Congress Catalog Number: 2011041495
ISBN: 978-1-4128-4618-9
Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Remaking urban citizenship : organizations, institutions, and the right to the city /
Michael Peter Smith and Michael McQuarrie, editors.
p. cm. -- (Comparative urban and community research ; v. 10)
Includes index.
ISBN 978-1-4128-4618-9
1. Sociology, Urban. 2. Citizenship. I. Smith, Michael P. II. McQuarrie, Mi-
HT151.R386 2012
Acknowledgements vii
1. Remaking Urban Citizenship 3
Michael Peter Smith and Michael McQuarrie
2. The Fluid, Multi-scalar, and Contradictory Construction 11
of Citizenship
Luis Eduardo Guarnizo
3. Citizens in Search of a City: Towards a New 39
Infrastructure of Political Belonging
Tony Roshan Samara
4. Urban Citizenship in New York, Paris, and Barcelona: 57
Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City
Ernesto Castañeda
5. Rights through the City: The Urban Basis of 79
Immigrant Rights Struggles in Amsterdam and Paris
Walter Nicholls and Floris Vermeulen
6. Dancing with the State: Migrant Workers’ NGOs 99
and the Remaking of Urban Citizenship in China
Xuefei Ren
7. Making the Case for Organizational Presence: 109
Civic Inclusion, Access to Resources, and Formal
Community Organizations
Irene Bloemraad and Shannon Gleeson
8. The Inclusive City: Public-Private Partnerships 135
and Immigrant Rights in San Francisco
Els de Graauw
9. Tipping the Scale: State Rescaling and the Strange 151
Odyssey of Chicago’s Mexican Hometown Associations
William Sites and Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro
10. Insistent Democracy: Neoliberal Governance 173
and Popular Movements in Seattle
Mark Purcell
11. Right to the City and the Quiet Appropriations 191
of Local Space in the Heartland
Faranak Miraftab
12. Political Moments with Long-term Consequences 203
Debbie Becher
Contributors 221
Index 225
Urban Citizenship in New York, Paris, and Barcelona:
Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City
Ernesto Castañeda
Building on ethno-surveys and multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork conducted in New York,
Paris, and Barcelona, this chapter discusses immigrant representation, ethnic organizations,
urban citizenship rights, and minority political participation in these cities. It describes how
organizations and institutions differently mediate immigrant political incorporation, social
integration,1 and structural assimilation given the different social, political, and institutional
contexts of each city. Structural assimilation is defined by Milton Gordon as the moment when
immigrant groups enter "fully into the societal network of [mainstream and powerful] groups and
institutions" (Gordon, 1964, cited in Jiménez, 2010, p. 71). This would include the opportunity
for upward social mobility, the lack of residential segregation, intermarriage, and the potential
for participation in politics and public activities as equals (Gordon, 1964). The prospect of
structural assimilation is important to understand the immigrants' objective and subjective
belonging to the cities where they live. For undocumented immigrants, establishing their
collective right to inhabit a new city first and foremost is crucial in opening the door for a further
"right to the city," which entails the ability to fully participate and transform the cities where they
live to the benefit of its inhabitants over that of capital (Lefebvre, 1968). Different ideas of what
constitute legitimate political and cultural organizations provide distinct avenues to participate
politically in urban life.
After comparing organizational fields in different countries, I find that while most
immigrants are not members of neighborhood, city-wide, national, ethnic, or hometown
associations, the mere possibility of existence and survival of these organizations explains much
about the context of immigration and the relationship that individuals have with the state.
Immigrant associations help newcomers integrate through language, vocational and cultural
workshops, and legal advice. They also help with practical issues of labor, food, housing,
education, and self-esteem. But immigrant and minority organizations also play a key role in
mobilizing dispersed immigrants with common origins and cultural backgrounds to make claims
upon the state by engaging in contentious politics in the public arena or by lobbying and meeting
with politicians and city officials at private events. Associations can be crucial in channeling
immigrant discontent by voicing immigrant needs, making collective political claims, combining
efforts, and dissipating discontent and alienation—even when they fail to obtain all of their
explicit demands (Castañeda, 2010).
Despite the commonly observed organizational shortcomings, budgetary dire straits, internal
divisions, inter-organizational competition, and the rise and disappearance of ethnic associations,
58 Remaking Urban Citizenship
the mere existence of these organizations is an indicator of the degree of political voice of
minorities and immigrants in a city regardless of formal citizenship. Associations can only thrive
in a welcoming cultural and institutional environment (thus, their partly derivative nature), but
once associations are taken seriously by city governments, they have important effects that
cannot be reduced to individual actions. Minority associations, then, are socially productive
actors with emergent properties (McQuarrie and Marwell, 2009).
Institutional Fields and Contexts of Reception
Organizations' actions and campaigns matter, but the legal and cultural frameworks that
regulate them may matter even more since organizations are interested in achieving legitimacy
by looking like other organizations in their field (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983; McQuarrie and
Marwell, 2009; Powell and DiMaggio, 1991). Immigrant organizations are rendered more or less
legitimate by types of citizenship regimes, legal and bureaucratic precedents and procedures,
official immigration histories, and mythologies. While these organizational fields are very dense
in New York and Barcelona where undocumented immigrants can sometimes act as de facto
urban citizens, this does not happen so easily in Paris where new ethnic organizations are viewed
as threatening and as antithetical to the French republican model of theoretical ontological
individual equality and homogeneity (Bowen, 2007). More surprisingly, the weakness of ethnic
associations in the Parisian metropolitan area ends up reducing the right to the city of
descendants of immigrants, who, despite being legal French citizens, suffer high levels of
discrimination, racial profiling, and unemployment (Silberman, Alba, and Fournier, 2007).2 The
comparison between these cities shows that the right to the city goes beyond legal citizenship
binaries. A collective right to the city is more empowering and self-fulfilling than an
individualized, neo-liberal matching of resident and neighborhood based on income and cultural
taste, or the price of real estate, restaurant menus, and entertainment venues.3
In the formation of local organizational fields, historical precedence, international emulation,
and diffusion matter (Longhofer and Schofer, 2010; McAdam, Tarrow, and Tilly, 2001; Tilly,
1984). The model and watershed moment for ethnic organizations is the American civil rights
movement. In the United States the civil rights movement was to a certain degree successfully
institutionalized into law, collective memory, and social and political organizations. The US has
historically emphasized race in talking about social differences, while historically class and
religious differences have been more salient in France and Spain (Fassin and Fassin, 2006).
Immigrants thus move into different contexts of reception with different possible avenues for
political voice.
Ethnic and immigrant organizations play key roles by providing personal and institutional
intermediaries, leaders, spokespeople, and even token minorities and successful immigrant
stories for public consumption, while also tackling some of the many thorny issues faced by this
underpaid and vulnerable population. Following a long tradition of urban ethnic politics formerly
controlled by Irish, Italians, and others, Latino immigrant elites in New York have employed
ethnic politics and local patron-client relations. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans have done so
successfully in New York (Marwell, 2004; 2007) and Mexicans are increasingly trying to do so
(Dávila, 2004; R. C. Smith, 2006). French citizens of color have taken note of the American
context (often idealizing it) and have tried to borrow many of the organizational forms of
American ethnic politics; yet, lacking a similarly deep institutional supporting infrastructure,
they are perceived by outsiders in a very different manner. While the NAACP, the National
Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City 59
Council of La Raza, the American Civil Liberties Union, Congressional Caucuses, and other
organizations may receive some federal, state, and local funds or tax breaks—often in
combination with private donations—they are often seen by their members and by third parties
as independent. In contrast, equivalent organizations created or supported by the French state are
seen as direct agents of the state; they are to be distrusted as neutral bodies. The government of
Barcelona, even though it lacks an experience parallel to that of New York, has been successful
to a great degree in implementing policies that give economic support for immigrant clubs.
These official clubs have allowed immigrant participants to shape organizational activities and
programs in a way that involves their communities and makes them feel like they have a right
and place in the city.
McQuarrie and Marwell (2009) call for a more careful look at organizations when studying
urban issues. They write:
[O]rganizations look and act the way they do because of the pressure for conformity to or
legitimacy in a wider institutional field. […] Considering the dynamics of the communities and
cities in which organizations are situated could yield positive contributions to organizational
theory and urban sociology (pp. 259-60).
It is indeed fruitful to focus upon immigrant and transnational organizations per se, and this
chapter adds to this research agenda.
Data and Methodology
This chapter raises an important caveat for migration scholars: when looking at the
immigrant experience only through the statements of the spokesmen and leaders of community
based organizations (CBOs), consular offices, non-governmental associations (NGOs), or
hometown associations (HTAs), one cannot comprehend the perils and daily life experiences of
regular immigrants in the way that one can by conducting in-depth interviews or engaging in
non-participant observation with immigrants themselves (whether or not they engage in
collective action or participate as members of immigrant associations). Unfortunately, when
looking for "representative immigrants" to interview, journalists and new researchers of
immigration are often tempted to contact immigrant associations and those non-governmental
organizations whose explicit purpose is to support or oppose immigration. By doing this, one
gets a polarized and politicized perspective while missing much of the action in the middle. This
is the case because, as with the general population, most people are not active members of
voluntary organizations. This, however, does not mean that the existence—or lack thereof—of
ethnic associations is irrelevant to the right to the city and general life chances of immigrants and
This chapter proposes that one should simultaneously study both immigrant organizations
and relatively isolated immigrants in order to better assess the effects and limitations that
immigrant organizations have on polity and community. The chapter thus draws on ethno-
surveys, in-depth interviews, and non-participant (or direct observation) conducted between 2003
and 2010 in the cities of New York, Paris, and Barcelona, as well as in three migrant-sending
countries: Mexico, Algeria, and Morocco (Castañeda, 2010). The samples are purposive, seeking
to include individuals who differ along lines of occupation, neighborhood, gender, class, race,
generation, and political orientation. Many of the immigrants in the sample are first generation
economic migrants working low skilled jobs. To get at processes of racialization and systematic
60 Remaking Urban Citizenship
exclusion, the samples in New York, Paris, and Barcelona also include second- and third-
generation immigrants. To control for class I have also surveyed professional, highly skilled
Mexican migrants living in the United States and Europe. The samples were not randomly
generated from a general directory or a census of minorities, since the latter does not exist in the
Parisian case.4 The samples used are small, and thus, their generalizability is limited. The
percentages shown in the tables below should not be taken as precise or absolute. Yet the trends
are robust across cities and are similarly reported from both the sending and receiving
communities. The trends discovered follow a social-class logic; that is, the higher the education
level, the higher the participation in civil life and civil associations and politics in general. This
coincides with traditional findings of voting and political behavior (Verba and Nie, 1972;
Wolfinger and Rosentone, 1980, cited in Jones-Correa, 1998, p. 53).
Table 1. Demographic Characteristics of Purposive Samples Surveyed
Receiving Cities Mexican Professionals
Living Abroad
Sending Countries Total
Location Paris Barc NYC USA Spain France Algeria Morocco Mexico
Population N Afr N Afr Latinos Mx Pro Mx Pro Mx Pro Algeria Morocco Mexico
n65 33 373 27 18 12 63 9 49 457
Av Age 32 30 32 36 34 34 29 38.2 45.8
Men 75% 85% 49% 66.7% 72.2% 41.7% 71% 100% 90% 72%
Women 25% 15% 51% 33.3% 27.8% 58.3% 29% 0% 10% 28%
The ethno-survey results are triangulated and calibrated with data collected through
participant observation, expert interviews, informal and in-depth interviews (not included in
these sample numbers), as well as from secondary sources, census data, and survey results from
large random samples (when existent). Relatively small sample sizes and a qualitative
methodology allow for a closer inspection of the cases (Small, 2009) and for the observation of
processes and mechanisms in different contexts leading to fruitful comparisons (Tilly and
Tarrow, 2007).
Comparative Field Sites and the Derivative Salience of Immigrant Associations
Despite the French reluctance to recognize communitarian organizations (Bowen, 2007),
when I arrived in France and I said that I wanted to interview immigrants, many people
recommended that I contact immigrant associations: "How else would you find immigrants to
interview?" They felt this would be the only way to find and interview immigrants. I decided
against this approach since, while I am familiar with many Mexican associations in New York, I
know that the average Mexican immigrant worker is not an active member of any of them. I
suspected that in France the percentage would be even lower. Desiring to avoid sampling on the
dependent variable, I talked to typical immigrants, whether or not they were politically organized
or belonged to a hometown association or other transnational organization (see Table 2).
I conducted fieldwork for seven years in New York with Mexican immigrants and
transnational organizations of all types including undocumented migrants, legal residents,
American citizens, later-generation Mexican Americans, international students, and
professionals. As a direct observer, I became familiar with the leaders and agendas of many
migrant organizations, and I regularly attended their events. Yet I focused purposely on those
Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City 61
immigrants who were not part of any of these organizations, since they constituted a numerical
majority of immigrants and often their concerns and attitudes were very different from those
expressed in public by those who are identified as community leaders. Political views and
participation vary widely across class and generation. Drawing from in-depth interviews in
California and Kansas, Jiménez (2010) writes that, "Later-generation Mexican Americans are not
likely to spearhead a demonstration or a social movement advocating for immigrant rights. If we
look at Mexican Americans' engagement only in the most visible forms of 'ethnic action'—
protest politics, organizational involvement, and participation in an ethnic enclave—we miss the
important ways that they create unity with and division from Mexican immigrants in daily life"
(2010, p. 248). This is not unique to the United States.
When I arrived in Paris in 2007 to conduct fieldwork for a year, some local researchers
advised me to contact immigrant associations in order to get in touch with this "hard to reach
population." This answer is indicative of a larger social phenomenon across field sites:
oftentimes (though not always) a newcomer may approach an organization for lack of personal
familiarity with a certain ethnic group or a perceived social distance that may make unscripted or
informal interactions with members of this group in public places a rare occurrence. It is in these
contexts where immigrant porte-paroles, or spokespeople, gain more salience and can act as
important cultural brokers. Not surprisingly, in Paris, immigrants experience strong spatial,
symbolic, and social boundaries (Castañeda, forthcoming; Lamont, 2000; Lamont and Molnar,
2002), thus explaining the temptation to rely on local associations. Unfortunately there are few
national or city-wide organizations representing migrants, and migrant needs vary across class
and ethnic lines. The group-specific associations are often seen as illegitimate by the government
and the dominant class since they go against French republican ideology (Bowen, 2007).
While doing fieldwork in Barcelona, I had no difficulty interacting and talking to immigrants
in public places. Inside community centers one could hardly differentiate the immigrant
component and the official governmental policies and funding sources that supported these
initiatives of intercultural dialogue and active integration. The link between governmental
funding in Barcelona is much more transparent than in New York and less paternalistic and
nationalistic than in Paris. Writing in reference to Barcelona, Morales and Jorba (2010) state:
Other than specific actions that must be undertaken for assuring the adequate initial settlement
of newcomers to the city, migrants' integration is viewed as a 'natural' process that will emerge
from migrants' equal access to all social welfare and services provided by the city, which are
based on the same principles and requirements [as] for pre-existing residents (p. 272).
The goal is to have immigrants on the same playing field as locals; accordingly, immigrants
tend to feel at home in and have rights in Barcelona. The Catalan state likes to connect with the
immigrant communities through individuals and cultural collectives. There are important
organizations in Barcelona which speak, for example, in favor of and in the name of Muslims
whenever their community is attacked or addressed. Media consult them and cite their views.
The print media take these leaders seriously and offer them a space in the Iberian public sphere,
especially when it concerns issues touching on Islam in Spain. One of these often cited
spokespeople is Mohammed Halhoul of the Consejo Islámico Cultural de Catalunya or Cultural
Islamic Council of Catalonia.5 The Catalonian organization is similar to, but probably a more
organic and "real" organization than, the Conseil Français du Culte Musulman (CFCM) or the
French Council of Muslim Religion, an official body created by the French government in 2003
to create a "French secular Islam." The CFCM is seen by average Muslim immigrants from
62 Remaking Urban Citizenship
North Africa as not representing them (Strieff, 2006). This was true in my sample, even though
most people were non-strict Muslims who were rather secular in the public sphere and who were
very acculturated to French mores and values.
When I actually asked immigrants and their families if they were part of an association (club,
HTA, or cultural organization) most respondents answered in the negative. The Moroccan
sample had the highest participation rate, with most of the membership belonging to trade
associations of vendors rather than political organizations. Class also plays a role in participation
in political, social, and cultural organizations. Thus the sample of Mexican professionals abroad
had the largest number of respondents participating in civil society associations.
Table 2. Participation in Civil Society Associations (in percentages)
Paris Barcelona New York Algeria Morocco Mx Pro
Yes 9 6 23 22 56 58
No 88 91 69 73 44 42
n a 3 3 8 5 0 0
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100
Given the generally small participation of working class immigrants (and natives) in civil
associations it would have been problematic to have interviewed only members of associations.
Furthermore, if, when studying overall immigrant political participation, I had only concentrated
on politicized and organized immigrants, I would have been "selecting on the dependent
variable" (Portes, Guarnizo, and Landolt, 1999). Yet it would be wrong to fully dismiss
immigrant organizations as secondary since they reflect much of the institutional environment
into which immigrants arrive. When such organizations manage to survive they can be socially
productive and performative when calling for the right to the city of everyone regardless of their
place of birth. Thus, the interesting sociological paradox: while most immigrants are NOT
members of ethnic, civil, or social organizations, the existence, health, resources, and respect that
these organizations have in a city can be taken as an indicator of the rights and freedoms that
immigrants are allowed to have despite nationality, religion, or legal status.
Immigrant Organizations, Associations Ethniques, Colectivos Migrantes
Not all lobbies and ethnic associations are treated the same way by host governments. Local,
national, and international politics affect the way the host state deals with particular groups. In
the United States, Cuban or Jewish organizations carry different political weight than, for
example, Salvadorian or Guatemalan organizations (Menjívar, 2006). The French state is
suspicious of Algerian associations given the historical role of anti-colonial associations in Paris,
most notoriously the Algerian nationalist group Etoile Nord Africaine founded by Messali Hadj
in Paris in 1926, which acted as the forerunner of Algerian independentist groups like the
Algerian National Liberation Front (Rosenberg, 2006). The further criminalization of Islam in
the eyes of the West after the Iranian revolution (Deltombe, 2005), combined with the strong
secular and even anti-religious habitus of many French politicians (Kuru, 2008), takes away
much legitimacy from Muslim associations that are independent of the French state. To control
and co-opt movements, the French government has tried in recent years to create a version of
Islam that is more compatible with French traditions (Strieff, 2006). These efforts have been top-
Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City 63
down and rather unsuccessful in connecting with the average French Muslim citizen.
Contradictorily, the French government and society have been very supportive of Kabyle and
Berber cultural and political organizations, which they see as distinct from the Arab ones. The
Berbers, or Imazighen, as they prefer to be called, were the main inhabitants of North Africa
before the Arab invasion of the seventh century. Cultural and political differences still exist
between these groups, especially in Algeria. Unlike Arab or Muslim associations, Kabyle groups
have been quite active in the Parisian region since they started migrating there at the beginning
of the twentieth century. The French state has seen Kabyles as being closer to Europeans and
Christianity and as a population through which to democratize North Africa (Mahé, 2006).
The Imazighen participate more in organizations. The integration of many of them into well-
paying jobs in their host society allows them more time and resources to organize. They make
claims to have their language and culture recognized, but not as much vis-à-vis their host
societies as they do in relation to what they see as a historical and continuous "Arab" cultural
colonization, exacerbated by a bloody confrontation with Algerian forces in the Black Spring of
2001 (Mahé, 2006).6
With the exception of the Kabyles, most first generation immigrants from the Maghreb are
not organized socially, politically, or even religiously. While they may feel part of the umma, or
global Muslim community, they do not go regularly to a Mosque, and most of them prefer to
confine their religious activities to the private space of the household and around traditional
familial practices, such as fasting during Ramadan. One informant told me that it is only possible
to follow the tradition of Ramadan when done within a community, since someone—commonly
a wife, sister, or mother—is needed to prepare the rich food that will be eaten by working and/or
observing men in order to recover their strength after the sun sets. Thus most first generation
working immigrants who are single or came alone rarely follow Ramadan. This further alienates
them from each other; in their countries of origin, following this collective tradition had the
effect of making the community visible.
Given the French republican normative and legal system that discourages the formation of
associations or clubs around common nationality or religion,7 Muslim Maghrebis lack a uniform
political voice. There is dire misrepresentation of minorities within government and even in the
slots for electoral posts (Geisser and Soum, 2008). Some token figures have been appointed by
President Sarkozy, but French minorities do not feel represented by them at all (personal
interview with Eros Sana, May 28, 2009). In the same sense the French government has
established an official body in the Paris Mosque and a Muslim Council, but these are official
organs that have very little contact with immigrants. The same is said about the well funded and
visible organization "SOS Racisme," which many criticize as an arm of the Socialist Party that
lacks any contacts on the ground and is especially disconnected from youth of Maghrebi origin
(L'Information Citoyenne, 2006).
In Barcelona, immigrants who fail to learn Catalonia's language and history are sometimes
seen as a cultural and political threat to the aspirations of many for fuller autonomy from Spain.
Catalan nationalists sometimes see immigrants who embrace the Spanish language, but not
Catalan, as a way in which their claim to be a distinct nation gets diluted. Thus efforts are made
to teach Catalan language, culture, and history to the newcomers as a way to keep Catalonia
alive. Despite local nationalism and certain xenophobic comments by locals, the Moroccan
immigrants interviewed feel at home in Barcelona and make efforts to learn Spanish and Catalan.
They have created new lives in Barcelona that often surpass the struggles they faced in their
64 Remaking Urban Citizenship
place of birth. As a Mexican interviewee in the US said, "Your country is where you succeed."
This also represents the view of many Moroccans in Barcelona.
To the question, "Do you feel part of a community?" respondents in the countries of arrival
answered as shown in Table 3.
Table 3. Feelings of Belonging to a Community (in percentages)
New York Barcelona Paris
Yes 59 64 18
No 32 9 79
n a 9 27 3
Total 100 100 100
In my sample, levels of participation often reflect cultural and institutional differences and
not just participation in associations. One way to get at this is to further qualify a quantitative
comparison by looking at the different and contextual meanings of the words "community,"
"communauté," and "comunidad" in New York, Paris, and Barcelona metropolitan areas
respectively. Given the long history of the French nation-making project (E. J. Weber, 1976), in
France "community" is a dirty word and "communautariste" is a put-down (Bowen, 2007;
Wacquant, 2008). Not surprisingly immigrants in France report the lowest levels of
communitarianism while the US has relatively high levels. Alexis de Tocqueville would not be
surprised with these well-established differences in associational life (Tocqueville, 1969). In
New York many respondents identified with a community, whether a neighborhood, their
national or ethnic group, or the Latino or Hispanic pan-ethnicity. "New Yorker" and "American"
were also salient identities. The percentage is even higher for Moroccans in Spain. While many
reported feeling part of the umma, a transnational Muslim community, many also reported
feeling part of a Spanish, Catalan, or cosmopolitan community. Clearly what the immigrants
understood by the question depends on the context of reception and on their pre- and post-
migration conceptions of community. For example, by not reporting participation in ethnic
associations, French residents of immigrant origin are actively showing their normative
incorporation into France's dominant culture. This accommodation is at strong odds with the
frequently familistic and collectivistic North African habitus. This rejection of Muslim or North
African associations further reduces the social capital of immigrants in France, thus hindering,
for example, the incorporation and political participation of unemployed citizens of foreign
The meaning of community differs widely in these three cities. As Patricia Hill Collins
(2010) notes, the term "community" can be used politically under various guises. The idea of
community often assumes homogeneity but "the city is where difference lives" (Mitchell, 2003,
p. 18), so a real urban community should necessarily be heterogeneous. Yet for some it means a
minority community; for others it means an older demographic and conservative politics; for
others it has religious connotations. Thus, it is the case that "community" entails the definitional
exclusion of others who are not part of it (e.g., immigrants).8 Thus immigrants are expected to
assimilate or show that they are an important part of spatial multiethnic communities. They may
Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City 65
have to self-organize to show what Tilly calls their WUNC—worth, unity, numbers, and
commitment—as a categorical group in order to be taken seriously by local politicians and to be
given a say in policy making (Jones-Correa, 1998; Tilly, 2004).
Do ethnic organizations and coalitions actually change contemporary modes of urban
authority? While immigrant associations are celebrated as part of the cultural richness of New
York, the real political power of most of them is merely symbolic. There is a strong inertia
benefitting the political status quo that favors well-established older immigrant groups: Jews,
Irish, and Italians (Jones-Correa, 1998). Elites from the dominant group often do not welcome
candidates from a new immigrant group until the demographic reality forces them to do so
(Dávila, 2004). Thus inter-ethnic alliances at the institutional-political level are few beyond those
on Election Day.
At the social movement level there are a few temporal exemptions. The Immigrants' Rights
Coalition, the committee organizing the May 1st marches, and associations like Make the Road
have tried to create—with some success—pan-Latino alliances, coalitions with some African
American community leaders around social policies, and mobilizations with Asian and Arab
Americans around immigrant rights. Human rights groups, labor unions, and Catholic and
Protestant organizations have also been instrumental in mobilizing for immigrant rights and
creating broader coalitions in these three cities.
The Barcelonan government often promotes its network of voluntary associations and
partnerships with the city as a successful model to integrate immigrants. Although imperfect, the
system has indeed been successful. However, perceived cultural differences and government
policies that treat immigrant groups in a differential manner—implicitly favoring Latin
American immigration (Rius Sant, 2007)—often divide collectives of Latinos and North
Africans. And while there are Latin American coalitions, partnerships, and pan-ethnic parades
like La Fiesta de la Hispanidad on October 12 (Columbus Day), the bulk of the associations are
divided by national origin, and then by particular region, profession, etc. (Morales and Jorba,
The tendency in Paris is for associations to form around geographical areas (Maghreb, Sub-
Saharan Africa, Latin America, North America, etc.), but the national differences and politics
make these coalitions unstable and thus often unsuccessful in lobbying as a block. In the 1980s
the beur movement had some provisional successes in bringing positive attention to the children
of North African immigrants (Barsali, Freland, and Vincent, 2003). Currently some of the most
interesting, and potentially most influential, groups are: Les Indigènes de la République,
characterized by their smart manifesto against colonialism and the disenfranchisement of
immigrants from the former colonies; Siècle 21, a group of successful professionals of color
extolling the virtues of diversity and calling for affirmative-action-type programs in elite schools,
top government posts, and big companies for educated minorities; and Le Conseil Représentatif
des Associations Noires de France (CRAN), which is an association that asks for the political
representation of French Blacks following both an American civil rights movement type of
discourse and a French republican integrationist one. They often compare themselves to the
NAACP, yet its President often talks against "communitarism" (Lozes, 2011)! Many see CRAN
as a platform by which its leaders gain attention, are co-opted, and gain government positions.
This was what happened with the leaders coming from the beur movement, SOS Racisme (Malik,
1990), and others. So while a couple of spokespeople get jobs in the system, their supposed
constituencies see no real empowerment.
66 Remaking Urban Citizenship
Discrimination, Exclusion, and Contentious Politics
While racial profiling happens in the streets and subways in New York City, especially since
the rise of the "law and order" ideology (Wacquant, 2008; 2010),9 Maghrebis in France report the
highest degree of police harassment.10 When I asked Maghrebis in Paris if they have had any
problems with the police or the judicial system in general, the majority of them answered in the
negative. But when I asked if they had been stopped and searched by the police for no apparent
reason, the majority responded in the affirmative. Many of them even justified this by saying that
they were used to these searches or that they thought the searches were normal. This is an
example of how widespread and normalized the practice is, and it translates into an
underreporting of police abuse in France. The surveys provide many other indicators of
widespread discrimination, racism, and police harassment against "Arabs" in France. A study
published in 2009 indicates that at the Châtelet train and subway station in Paris, blacks were
11.5 times more likely than whites to be stopped; and Arabs were 14.8 more times more likely to
be stopped simply for wearing clothing associated with youth culture (Goris, Jobard, and Lévy,
Below, in Table 4, are answers to the question "Have you ever been unjustly stopped by the
police?" from my surveys samples.
Table 4. Racial Profiling (in percentages)
New York Barcelona Paris
Yes 13 33 48
No 77 58 49
n a 10 9 3
Total 100 100 100
The streets and subway stations in Barcelona (and especially Madrid) have seen a rise in
racial profiling in recent years; Maghrebis and Latinos may be stopped and asked for
documentation just because of their phenotype. This is done with the intention to deport the
undocumented. The media and the larger and most vocal immigrant organizations have criticized
this profiling. While the purpose of these laws is to target only the undocumented, racial
profiling has the effect of making whole categorically defined groups feel like they do not belong
to a city.
A touchy event amongst the Mexican professional community living in Spain has been the
case of engineering doctoral student Alejandro Ordaz Moreno. He was the victim of mistaken
identity in Seville in 2008. While coming home from a bar on a weekend night, two policemen
dressed as civilians tried to arrest him; he thought they were criminals trying to kidnap him. He
defended himself by retaliating and allegedly took a weapon from one of the agents who finally
subdued him and charged him with attacking the officers. The professional Mexican community
in Spain, including the diplomatic delegation,11 interpreted the event as a result of the
racialization of Mexicans and was very active in advocating for the student. Such an assault on
persons of their educational and class standing added to the dissatisfaction of some Mexicans
working in Spain, especially since they had expected to encounter racial and cultural similarities.
Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City 67
Table 5. Participation in Contentious Politics (in percentages)
New York Barcelona Paris
Yes 20 9 28
No 71 91 68
n a 9 0 4
Total 100 100 100
In New York the participation in public protests (Table 5) refers to the marches of May 1,
2006, and marches in subsequent years in favor of immigrant rights. The most active individuals
also have marched in favor of or against the war in Afghanistan and other issues important for
New York activists. The French immigrant second generation gained much attention after the
riots in 2005. These riots reflect their lack of political representation in government and the lack
of avenues for political voice. The reported engagement of Parisian Maghrebis in contentious
politics is relatively high in relation to their counterparts in Barcelona or New York, but it is still
relatively low given the high level of political contention typical in France (Bréchon and
Tchernia, 2009). Furthermore, much of their reported participation in contentious politics entails
transnational participation in pro-democracy and minority rights movements in Morocco and
Algeria, as well as in marches in France against the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the situation
in Palestine. Context matters, and participation in sanctioned protests is higher because of labor
issues. Yet, it is not the unemployed and disenfranchised North Africans who participate in
protest in Paris but the most integrated ones.
When French youth riot and attack public buildings and private property (e.g., as occurred in
2005), it should not be seen as innovative or outside of French cultural frames and repertoires of
contention. Actually, they are borrowing performances from the historical repertoires of
contentious politics performed by people in France (Tilly, 2008; Traugott, 1993). French history
is full of small riots and rebellions against local figures of symbolic and real authority as well as
against private property and members of the local aristocracy. While in the US the media
commonly underline the cultural, symbolic, ideological, and political transgressions of the
1960s, the French recall and underline the riots, the occupation of the streets and universities, the
construction of street barricades made with paving stones, and the resulting violent state
repression, cultural incomprehension, and symbolic repression that accompanied and followed
In Barcelona, immigrants are fast to participate in anti-racist and anti-xenophobic marches
along with the young people of Spanish descent who also play a leading role. New immigrants
show their incorporation by fully participating in the public celebrations of sport and the local
cultural celebrations (I can personally attest to their participation at the victory of Spain in the
EuroCup in June 2008, at the victory of the Real Madrid Football Club in the same year, and in
the celebration of the bicentennial of the events of 1808). In sum, immigrants also show their
integration by adapting to the relevant contentious repertoires of a locality. Thus the contentious
actions of the Maghrebi origin youth show their adoption of French current and historical forms
of contentious political participation and collective action (Traugott, 1993). So while Maghrebis
have some voice through contentious politics on certain topics (labor, benefits, the environment),
they have fewer institutional avenues inside the political system to have their demands addressed
than Latinos.
68 Remaking Urban Citizenship
Latinos have not been free from attacks in the public sphere or in the streets; but, the barriers
they have faced—like California's Proposition 187 passed in 1994,12 the anti-immigrant law HR
443713 proposed by Republican congressman James Sensenbrenner, and Arizona's recent
enactment of SB 107014—have actually galvanized the Latino community and brought it together
in reaction to these repressive laws targeting immigrants and their allies. The institutionalization
of lobbying, letter writing, marching, and other contentious performances in the American
mainstream political system have resulted in the lessening of the effects of these laws or their
eventual outright defeat, often by being ruled unconstitutional in the federal judicial system.
Each legal attack against Latino immigrants results in larger calls for legalization of the
undocumented and the naturalization of legal permanent residents (green card holders). Over
time, the result is a larger number of Latino citizens and therefore a larger Latino voting bloc.
Furthermore, new citizens can petition to legally reunify with family members left behind. This,
along with natural growth and continued immigration, has resulted in Latinos becoming the
largest minority in the US. While not all vote (or do so for the same party), there are enough
commonalities in outlooks and interest, often cutting across class lines and national origin, to
constitute them as a voting bloc, which increases their influence and political voice, if only
moderately. This stands in stark contrast to the case of Muslims in France. Latino citizens have
expressed their political voice by voting in the last federal elections, giving needed votes to
Democratic candidates. Since Latinos participate mostly through accepted institutional channels
they may be seen as docile or even "a-political" since their actions in many ways cannot be
distinguished from those of African Americans, Mormons, Evangelicals, the National Rifle
Association (NRA), or other advocacy groups.
The US is a federal system with diverse laws, state-society negotiations, and service and tax
incentives that vary by state and locality; yet, its public sphere is largely national, so whatever
happens in a state or county can affect the national imagination. A set of policies may have a
demonstration effect that influences citizens and politicians in other states. The context of a
whole country opens up so many more avenues and possibilities than a city can. This is more the
case for the US and Spain than it is for France. The US, for example, can range from having
"sanctuary cities" like New York and San Francisco, to efforts in Los Angeles to deflect
migration (Light, 2006), to the extreme of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona,
whose theatrics include parading apprehended undocumented immigrants in orange suits and
handcuffs through downtown areas and holding them in open-air prisons.
Paths and Contexts of Immigrant Political Participation and Contention
While Latinos' life chances are still behind those of whites (Massey, 2007), spaces for Latino
figures to access important public roles have opened due to policy, the widespread practice of
respect, the tolerance of difference, and avenues for meritocratic advancement (e.g., Bill
Richardson, Alberto Gonzáles, Antonio Villaraigosa, Sonia Sotomayor). There are many Latino
politicians in New York, and indeed Latinos hold public office in many places throughout the
US. Mexican and other Latino leaders with national and international profiles serve as models of
achievement to immigrant leaders in New York and inspire hopes for their own future inclusion.
A good example of Latino political institutionalization is the National Association of Latino
Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), which, according to its own website, "is committed
to promoting the advancement and policymaking success of Latino elected and appointed
officials." According to NALEO (2007), there were 3,743 Latino elected officials in 1996 and
Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City 69
5,129 in 2007, with 24 Latinos in the US House of Representatives in 2008 and 3 in the Senate.
After Ken Salazar became Secretary of the Interior and Mel Martinez (R-FL) retired, Robert
Menendez (D-NJ) became the only Latino Senator in 2009. Even if under-represented in relation
to their population share, Latinos and other ethnic and racial minorities have representatives at
all levels of government. This is less the case in Spain given the short period in which
immigration has occurred. Yet there are cases of prominent Latino and Muslim politicians and
leaders there. France lacks elected representatives of color except those coming from overseas
colonies (Geisser and Soum, 2008). Thus the number of people of color in the French Senate
decreased in the twentieth century after the independence of many of its colonies (Shepard,
An important difference between New York, Paris, and Barcelona is the profile that
immigrant and minority organizations, business, and civic associations have in each city. New
York City has a long tradition of ethnic mutual-aid societies. Some of them were founded by
Jewish immigrants at the end of the nineteenth century to help these immigrants integrate into
the city and to cover their basic needs. (The Jewish Board of Family and Children Services, for
instance, has offices in all New York City boroughs. It is the largest social service agency in the
city, and today it serves a majority non-Jewish population.) New York also has a long tradition
of ethnic newspapers, radio, and television, which diffuse important information in the native
tongue of the newcomers about the communities of origin as well as information about how to
make the most out of the host city. Ethnic media may also act as a way to build social capital
among immigrant groups by advertising events and the activities of immigrant and community
New York's relative openness to immigrants can be explained by demographics, history, and
official memory. Around 40 percent of the population of New York is foreign-born, so
immigrants and their children are not necessarily a numerical minority. New York has been an
important entry point for new immigrants for well over a century. Part of the official history of
the city and the country paints Ellis Island as a key point in the history of welcoming immigrants
to the United States, even though this positive celebration dates only to the past few decades
(Gabaccia, 2010; Zolberg, 2006).
For centuries Paris has also been a popular destination for immigrants. One in five French
have foreign-born parents. Yet France's history of immigration is something that is not officially
celebrated or generally recognized (Noiriel, 2006 [1988]). Paris has few private institutions that
have specifically catered to immigrant needs. Because of the pressure to leave behind previous
cultural traditions and the need to integrate immigrants to their new homeland as individuals,
belonging to ethnic or nation-of origin mutual aid societies is generally discouraged.
In Paris, social capital among working class immigrants is much lower than in New York and
Barcelona. French law aims at not making distinctions between types of citizens. Thus it is
deemed unconstitutional to provide funds for subsets or ethnic categories of French citizens.
Therefore, the type of funding that New York or Barcelona city governments now routinely give
to private and public organizations that cater to immigrants is illegal in France. Sometimes Paris
and its surrounding suburbs do violate this constraint by supporting immigrant and minority
organizations at the local level through funds for cultural activities and festivals that, while
represented as having a universal cultural value, have mainly a first- and second-generation
immigrant constituency in mind (Doytcheva, 2007).
Much has been made in the last decades of the rise of "associations" in France, which are
formed by and for immigrants. Yet there is a stigma when talking about them and an implicit
70 Remaking Urban Citizenship
condemnation of their aims and methods. There are important exceptions such as SOS Racisme
(L'Information Citoyenne, 2006) and Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Whores nor Submissive)
(Amara and Zappi, 2006), organizations that have been fully co-opted by political parties and
governments for electoral reasons and for public relations campaigns (Malik, 1990). These
organizations have resources, media, national presence, and connections with celebrities and
politicians; they use French republican and nationalistic statements in their antiracists campaigns.
Immigrants and their children, however, rarely feel represented by them.
Today, Barcelona better resembles New York; ethnic organizations are able to get their own
funds or to apply competitively for partial funding of their own proposed civil and cultural
programs that aim both to showcase immigrant communities' food, music, dance, literature, and
plastic arts to the Catalan community and to integrate immigrant communities into Catalan and
Spanish cultures. Like New York, Barcelona has parades and holidays to celebrate the
contributions of general and particular immigrant groups. In contrast, no high-profile member of
the Sarkozy-Fillon government was present to inaugurate the new immigration museum in Paris,
which is situated in a building that used to house a museum displaying French colonies (Blandin,
2007). So in the case of Paris, it is both the hostile environment of the receiving city and the lack
of cultural associations that cause immigrants to feel as though they do not have a right to the
Urban Citizenship: Actual Claims-making and Belonging
The standard sociological story of the formation of cities in Medieval Europe describes them
as the migrant destinations of craftsmen, liberal professionals, and traveling merchants—as well
as free souls, fugitive slaves, soldiers, serfs, criminals, and dispossessed peasants—where
residents could live outside the control of feudal lords, kings, and religious authorities. The
German phrase Stadtluft macht frei nach Jahr und Tag ("city air makes you free after a year and
a day") originates from the legal principle in the network of Hanseatic cities, where if a person
lived in the city for more than a year and one day without a lord or employer making claim on
him, then that person would be free of his previous bonds (Sennett, 1994, p. 151). Burger or
citizen was the word used to designate the residents of a city, those who, with their dwellings and
daily economic activity, established de facto local residence without the permission of any
external authority (M. Weber, 1958).
After the American and French revolutions and the rise and global spread of the nation-state
model (Wimmer and Feinstein, 2010), cities became parts of larger national units. Urban
residents had to increasingly plead before a taxing national government for permission to be
legal residents, and foreign-born residents had to request to be naturalized as citizens of the state
in question (Ngai, 2004; Weil, 2008). This arrangement between the state and its citizens has
become normalized. Thus, international migrants, who are often by definition non-citizens, have
to deal with consequences in many arenas—abstract political theory, imagined homogenous
communities, public opinion, police and other state agents—in order to exercise their right to
inhabit the city as equals. By living their daily lives in the city and interacting with family,
employers, education and government bureaucrats, and service providers, immigrants and their
offspring are de facto citizens but the reification of the nation-state often denies them this reality
de jure.
There have been some recent changes to this linear relation between citizen and state. Cities
in the European Union must accept other European citizens, and some cities even accept some
Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City 71
"extra-communitarian" inhabitants as legal residents as soon as they register with the local police
station (e.g., English or Germans in Spain). Global cities increasingly put their capital
accumulation and growth needs before the interests of the nation-state within which they are
geographically contained (Sassen, 2001). Cities also have the power to grant practical citizenship
(e.g., New York, Barcelona), or not (e.g., Phoenix, Paris). The extent of immigrant sanctuary
cities is exaggerated by both proponents and critics, yet the idea holds water comparatively and
could potentially be fully realized, as it has been historically. These truly democratic policies of
inclusion of all residents could be enacted top-down by enlightened technocrats or be demanded
bottom-up by grassroots self-organizing, mobilization, and immigrant organizations. The right to
the city should require first, the legal permission to be in a city; second, the right to enjoy public
spaces and services; and third, the right of all residents to shape and change their city by their
collective actions (Harvey, 2008; Lefebvre, 1968; Mitchell, 2003). This may sound utopian, but
it could be possible. One way to partially realize it could be through immigrant organizations,
civil groups, and NGOs.
Discussions about immigration in academia and the public sphere tend to be of two types. In
the first, immigrants, especially undocumented ones, are constructed as illegal, antithetic to the
nation-state, or a threat to national security and cultural integrity; they are framed as foreign
bodies to a national society and eccentricities to the nation-state. They are people that one wishes
would go back to their "natural" homes (Sayad, 2004; Weil, 2008). In the second type of
discussion, immigrants are often seen as helpless victims trapped between an economic demand
for their cheap labor and a political system that denies their rights. While the origins of these
polar views are understandable sociologically, they hide the complexities of immigrants'
everyday lives.
The label "illegal" cloaks important forms of de facto or everyday citizenship. Besides
keeping transnational links with their communities of origin through remittances and modern
channels of communication (Smith and Guarnizo, 1998; M. P. Smith, 2003), after some time in
their new places of residence, immigrants become embedded in local jobs, commuting routes,
kin and friendship networks, and local institutions, in addition to their transnational
commitments. They are active consumers who patronize local restaurants and businesses and pay
for rent, groceries, transportation, and utilities. Where possible they may participate in immigrant
enclaves and start their own businesses. Thus immigrants often participate in formal or informal
chambers of commerce where they get into contact with local politicians and bureaucrats and by
which they exercise some political power. For example, candidates running for public office in
New York, and in the cities, states, and countries of origin, often meet with immigrant business
groups and community organizations to look for their support, even though some of the members
and constituents of these groups cannot vote (Jones-Correa, 1998). This is also increasingly the
case in Barcelona, where many politicians including presidential candidates look to gain the
support of new immigrants, even when sometimes their public rhetoric is opposed to illegal
immigration. The Parisian case is the opposite, despite the fact that most people of foreign origin
can vote. Politicians are reluctant to address immigrants and their children as a group since this
would be negatively portrayed by the media and their opponents, and it would go against the
nationalistic agenda.
Political theory and legalistic approaches overemphasize legal national citizenship. Yet, an
analytical view shows that citizenship may appear de facto even when lacking de jure. This does
not mean that legal citizenship is unimportant, nor does it deny that those without formal
citizenship are potentially more prone to abuses and deportation. Immigrants may act as de facto
72 Remaking Urban Citizenship
citizens by participating in the labor market, bringing up families, paying taxes, participating in
religious communities, volunteering, doing civil or social work, working for government
agencies, acting as labor representatives or community organizers, forming community and
neighborhood associations, and speaking at public events and in the media using their native
language and that of their new country. Immigrant rights movements and organizations have an
explicit political agenda, and while they rarely see all their claims addressed, they still act as
political interest groups and can affect policy making; they act as de facto citizen groups even
when many of their members may be undocumented or legal residents without the right to vote.
The point here is that the concept of political activity includes much more than voting.
Who can participate in political and communal activities also varies across time and space. In
New York, community residents and parents of school children do not need to be citizens or
legal residents to vote in school board elections or to serve on community boards (Board of
Elections, 2011; Jones-Correa, 1998). There have also been calls by local organizations and
politicians to introduce resolutions to allow non-citizens to vote for mayoral and local elections.
These resolutions have not passed city council because they would upset the status quo, but they
could pass in the future if there were an open resident referendum on the issue. Similarly, Jordi
Hereu, the Mayor of Barcelona, has called for Moroccan immigrants to be allowed to vote in
municipal elections (if the Moroccan government reciprocates). "In the citizenship-building
process, as well as all the social aspects, it is also necessary to work on political rights, so
everyone can express themselves in the municipal elections," said the mayor during an official
visit to Morocco (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2009). Paris, in contrast, requires citizenship or
residency papers even for private sector transactions such as renting an apartment or signing a
cell phone contract.
In New York, landlords prefer Mexican renters because they pay the rent on time, and due to
their undocumented status, they neither cause trouble nor demand too much. Furthermore, they
often show a "do-it-yourself" attitude when it comes to apartment repairs and dealing with
emergencies (Fuentes, 2007; Thompson, 2007). Through their formal and informal economic
activity and their own labor to fix up housing in bad condition, immigrant groups have
revitalized whole neighborhoods that were in economic decline, many of which have been
subsequently gentrified by urban planners and the middle classes. This has been the case in El
Raval and downtown Barcelona (Qu and Spaans, 2009; Serra del Pozo, 2006), neighborhoods
throughout New York like the Lower East Side (Zukin, 2010), and Eastern Paris (Pinçon and
Pinçon-Charlot, 2004; 2009). Immigrants move to dangerous and decaying neighborhoods
because of their affordability. By exercising their right to the city, they change these
neighborhoods. Immigrants are often precursors to gentrification by making neighborhoods
safer. By opening restaurants and stores they also make these areas more appealing to middle
class people looking for affordable places to move. The paradox is that as a result of improving
the living conditions and cultural and economic offerings of urban areas, immigrants are often
displaced involuntarily because of increasing prices and pressures brought about by
gentrification. So while immigrants greatly shape the city and make areas more livable, the
ultimate benefits are often enjoyed by others who have a legal right to the city, access to highly
paid jobs, and some leisure time to consume the new and increasingly expensive and exclusive
Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City 73
Dense associational fields can be seen as indicators of the degree of immigrants' "right to the
city." While not all immigrants are part of immigrant associations because of fear or a lack of
time, interest, or resources, the health and high-profile of immigrant rights organizations can act
as a proxy for the level of tolerance that cities have towards immigrants. The existence of
certified and tolerated immigrant and pro-immigrant human rights organizations creates
discursive fields and forums to propose a right to the city for minorities and immigrants—despite
issues of national citizenship—and thus for everyone. Inclusive institutional discourses reflect
the de facto urban citizenship that immigrants have in the cities where they live, work, and
conduct family and economic activities, and through which they thus contribute to and constitute
an integral part of their communities. National governments should recognize what is a fait
accompli and provide avenues for legal citizenship that further help to incorporate immigrants
into the communities of which they are already part.
Different state-society relationships, citizenship ideological models, and civil society and
institutional arrangements have differential effects for the larger minority groups in these three
cities (Castañeda, 2010). Each city has something to learn from the other—both things to
improve as well as things to celebrate. The final table (Table 6), summarizes five key
comparisons made in this chapter.
Table 6. Relative Positions of Cities across Key Dimensions
New York Paris Barcelona
Citizenship Ideology Multicultural Républicain Multicultural
How Civil Society Can Organize Ethnicity Class Cultural practices
Public Funding for Ethnic Orgs. Medium Medium-Low High
Density of Organizational Field High Low Medium
Urban Citizenship High Low High
The overall status of Latinos in the United States is aided by avenues of political voice and
organization that benefit from the legacy of the civil rights movement and multicultural ideology.
Even without having the largest voice of all groups, Latinos have a political voice that is heard in
the streets, politicians' offices, and in the public sphere. Given its different history and ideology,
France discourages communitarian discourses and thus robs disenfranchised, un-integrated, non-
fundamentalist migrants not only of political voice but also of collective action and social
capital. While many unemployed Muslim immigrants and citizens are disenfranchised from the
French mainstream and from one another, Moroccans in Barcelona have social clubs, friendship
networks within and across categorical groups, and a moderate political voice as city residents.
Unemployment and stigmatization are the major obstacles to a right to the city facing the
offspring of immigrants in the Parisian metropolitan area (Castañeda, forthcoming). In New
York, the challenges are the lack of papers and poverty wages. In Barcelona, they are local
intolerance and stereotypes, which are often softened after social interactions in the public and
private spheres. Practical everyday citizenship, including employment, cultural rights, freedom
of religion, and avenues for political expression—as well as legal citizenship—are necessary in
order to fully enjoy a right to the city and the country where new residents live.
74 Remaking Urban Citizenship
Civil society and local socialization patterns foster processes of belonging and exclusion that
are translated into different forms of contentious politics, exclusion, and everyday citizenship.
Different configurations of social boundaries create parallel pathways of simultaneous exclusion
and inclusion. These findings remind us how important everyday interactions, expectations, a
sense of belonging, and de facto citizenship are, even when they may seem independent from
policy goals and state-sanctioned markers of citizenship. The best possible scenario for
immigrants is when legal citizenship and its associated welfare benefits and political rights are
accompanied by de facto everyday citizenship, structural integration, and respect for cultural
difference. None of these cities provides all of these conditions, but doing so would be beneficial
for immigrants and their offspring. Providing these conditions would also benefit the receiving
state, since immigrants would be allowed to contribute fully to their new societies.
1. Social integration of immigrants in this context does not mean forced cultural assimilation or
cultural homogeneity, nor does it imply a normative ideal like that implicit in the Chicago School
(see McQuarrie and Marwell, 2009). On the contrary, it follows William Bernard's procedural
description of integration where "natives" and "newcomers" integrate with each other; "That is to
say that each element has been changed by association with the other, without complete loss of its
own cultural identity, and with a change in the resultant cultural amalgam…this concept of
integration rests upon a belief in the importance of cultural differentiation within a framework of
social unity. It recognizes the right of groups and individuals to be different so long as the
differences do not lead to domination or disunity" (William S. Bernard, quoted in Gordon, 1964, p.
2. This movement is parallel to the weakening of working class community organizations and political
alliances and the general political disenfranchisement of peripheral urban areas in France often
called the banlieues (see Castañeda, forthcoming).
3. This neo-liberal model clusters individuals by social class and/or race; and by excluding the poor
and stigmatized groups from certain exclusive areas it decreases a universal right to the city. This
was the model mastered by Von Haussmann in Paris and Robert Moses and his Triborough Bridge
and Tunnel Authority in New York (Harvey, 2008). This model was also applied to Barcelona
leading to the Olympic Games of 1992 (Qu and Spaans, 2009).
4. In the same way that the US Census does not ask about religion, the French Census does not have
questions on race or ethnicity. It is considered illegal to use state resources to create statistical
information that treats citizens as something other than French. While the US Census has questions
about race and ethnicity, the categories change each decade and they are not self-explanatory or
understood in the same way by respondents (Passel and Taylor, 2009). Furthermore the US Census
clearly undercounts the number of poor minorities and undocumented workers that prefer not to or
cannot give information to the state due to their unstable situation, frequent change of residence,
and/or crowded and informal housing arrangements.
5. For a list of Muslim organizations in Spain see, for example,
6. I have also observed the same while participating in cultural events organized by the Kabyle
community in New York, including the celebration of the contentious events of the Berber Spring.
7. Despite the strong discourse against funding communitarian activities, some funds are allocated at
the local level around cultural issues, or programs around social class, age, or disadvantaged status
(see Doytcheva, 2007).
Immigrant Organizations and the Right to Inhabit the City 75
8. As in any closed social group newcomers have to pass a time of probation, where they may be
asked to prove their worth and willingness to belong; e.g., new members rushing a fraternity in
order to construct fictitious kinship relationships, in the same way that the nation-state imagines the
common patrie or motherland.
9. This policy program was revamped after 9/11 to the point where the securitarian discourse has
become commonplace and widespread.
10. Yet minorities in France have a lower imprisonment rate per capita than minorities in the US
(Wacquant, 2010).
11. In a press release the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that despite failing to comply with
his parole conditions, it will continue to defend Alejandro Ordaz Moreno. See:
running from parole his.
12. Proposition 187 alleged that Californians suffered "economic hardship caused by the presence of
illegal aliens" and called for the denial of public benefits such as health care, education, and welfare
to illegal aliens. The citizen proposition was passed on November 8, 1994 and was supported by
almost 59 percent of the California voters with a 60 percent voter turnout. It was signed into law by
Governor Pete Wilson (R). Following lawsuits filed in by the Mexican-American Legal
Defense/Education Fund (MALDEF), the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and others, Proposition 187 was ultimately declared
unconstitutional by US District Court Judge Mariana Pfaelzer in November 1997. In 1999
Governor Gray Davis (D), an earlier supporter of the proposition, decided not to appeal this ruling,
killing the proposition but yet inspiring federal immigration bills like the Illegal Immigration
Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
13. HR 4437: The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 was
introduced by James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) on December 6, 2005 and passed by the House of
Representatives on December 16, 2005, but the Senate did not vote on it. The bill asked for more
funds for border control, larger jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security, and
fingerprinting of non-citizens entering and leaving the country (all these aspects were later
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... Community organizations, which advocate for and help realize employment and worker rights, civil and cultural rights, language and religious expression, and access to political participation, are crucial interlocutors (with the state) for politically marginalized groups such as immigrants. Moreover, local ethnic, immigrant, and religious organizations have proven effective in engaging residents, enabling them to represent immigrant concerns to government officials and other powerholders (Castañeda, 2012;Cordero-Guzman, 2005). States in turn shape the financing and structure of local organizations (Bloemraad, 2006). ...
... Scholars evaluate New York as having a vigorous and democratic immigrant incorporation (Hochschild & Mollenkopf, 2009). 2 In contrast, scholars problematize the integration of immigrants in Paris, often evoking a lack of civic and political representation, suburban riots in which they have been involved, and other indicators of non-incorporation (Bertossi & Duyvendak, 2012;Maxwell, 2010). One central factor for these outcomes is the lack of support that French immigrants receive from ethnic organizations (Castañeda, 2012;Maxwell, 2010), which were limited by law until 1981. A fear of ethnic 'communitarianism' follows French public philosophy that expects immigrants to assimilate as individuals into the République. ...
... Studies have shown how local governance actors shape cultural integration (e.g., Penninx et al., 2014), political integration (e.g., Varsanyi, 2010) and civic/associational integration (e.g., Castañeda, 2012;Smith, 2013) of urban immigrants. This study extends the fruits of such an approach by identifying how local governance actors specifically shape incorporation of undocumented youth. ...
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City-based organizations and governments play an important role in incorporating undocumented immigrant youth. This article investigates how localities socio-politically incorporate these immigrants by examining the governance constellations and institutional logics of the organizational field that manages undocumented youth. Comparing sets of municipal and civil society organizations in different national settings, I use the two cases of New York City and Paris to ask how the ‘city-based organizational field of immigrant incorporation’ shapes citizenship experiences of undocumented youth. Data come from multi-level longitudinal ethnography over eight years with two dozen undocumented youth and with organizations in each city as well as interviews with immigrant organization staff and other governance actors in New York and Paris. Organizational field dynamics in Paris provide a stronger possibility of citizenship and rights acquisition, evidence of socio-political incorporation. In contrast, New York’s robust and flexible labor market and ethnic and immigrant legitimacy offer its undocumented youth a marginalized socio-political incorporation. These findings support practice-based understandings of local governance of incorporation of undocumented youth.
... As diaspora is a spatial process then, which frequently involves practices of city-making and urban transformation, migrants need to attain certain rights to the city to be able to produce a diaspora space. However, the notion of the right to the city has only received a relatively small amount of attention from scholars explicitly exploring migrant experiences (Castañeda, 2012;Dikec, 2005;Nicholls & Vermeulen, 2012) and even less for those examining diaspora formations. This is surprising when you consider that the right to the city for numerous scholars is seen to be concerned about the urban rights of the oppressed and marginalised (Marcuse, 2009), a condition frequently associated with contemporary migrants. ...
... Therefore, I would argue, the right to the city pertains to forms of spatial and material justice in the city. The focus has primarily been on the rights of the marginalised and oppressed (Marcuse, 2009), but only a relatively small number of scholars have utilised the concept to focus on the urban rights of migrants (Castañeda, 2012;Dikec, 2005;Nicholls & Vermeulen, 2012). These existing studies focus on structural and institutional mechanisms that can assist migrants to achieve a right to the city, such as immigrant rights organisations (Castañeda, 2012) and urban policies (Nicholls & Vermeulen, 2012). ...
... The focus has primarily been on the rights of the marginalised and oppressed (Marcuse, 2009), but only a relatively small number of scholars have utilised the concept to focus on the urban rights of migrants (Castañeda, 2012;Dikec, 2005;Nicholls & Vermeulen, 2012). These existing studies focus on structural and institutional mechanisms that can assist migrants to achieve a right to the city, such as immigrant rights organisations (Castañeda, 2012) and urban policies (Nicholls & Vermeulen, 2012). Research that explicitly connects the right to the city with diaspora formations is even harder to come by. ...
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In this paper, I bring together ideas of ‘diaspora space’ and ‘the right to the city’ and empirically demonstrate how the formation of diasporas is frequently dependent on migrants attaining certain rights to the city. These rights, I argue, are conditioned and attained by the interplay of urban structural context with the place-making strategies of migrants. Drawing on 8 months of ethnographic fieldwork, I demonstrate that Moroccan migrants in Granada, Spain, have achieved a partial right to a neighbourhood of the city, producing a multi-sensory, self-orientalised diaspora space. First, I show that certain urban conditions in Granada provided a foothold for Moroccan migrants to begin to form a diaspora and transform urban space. Second, I demonstrate that through the mobilisation of a strategically self-orientalised cultural capital, the diaspora have partly appropriated the valuable history of Al-Andalus, a key component in the city’s tourist imagery. These factors and strategies have enabled Moroccan migrants to gain a right to have a visible presence in the city, a right to produce and transform urban space and a right to spatalise diverse identities – all key rights, I argue, in the formation of a diaspora.
... This is particularly important now that local authorities increasingly claim, and are given a larger role in, carving out the contents of citizenship for migrants. In extreme cases, for instance, large cities like Barcelona and Paris create a form of urban citizenship with separate municipal ID cards that give newcomers, including undocumented migrants, a wide range of rights not recognized by the nation-states at hand (Castañeda 2012). The more mundane, everyday practices that fill in and give substance to citizenship within a variety of local contexts, however, have received less attention. ...
The chapter analyses how local policies of exclusion have been redirected in recent years towards a particular category of immigrants: namely asylum seekers, representing them as dangerous, undeserving and welfare scroungers. But these policies do not remain unchallenged. On the other side, local actors from the civil society mobilise in favour of the reception of refugees and immigrants, including those who are not entitled to a legal residence status. The second argument, consequently, is that the governance of immigration, especially at local level, can be defined as a battleground, in which different actors take part, according to various economic interests, social bonds, moral values and political beliefs.
... It shows how organizations do not exist in a vacuum; they are nested in broader urban contexts with particular histories related to immigrants and refugees. A few organizations may be innovative and push the limits, but it is essential to look at the whole organizational field (Bourdieu 2019, Castañeda 2012b, as organizations will tend to copy each other's tactics and strategies (DiMaggio and Powell 1983). ...
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This article compares immigrant and ethnic organizations in four major immigrant-receiving cities and reveals substantial variation across these immigrant gateway cities. Using data from ethnographic fieldwork and an original database of relevant organizations in New York City; El Paso, Texas; Paris; and Barcelona, I find differences in organizational type and density, as well as in their legitimacy and funding. This article contributes to a growing literature on immigrant organizations. Although immigrant organizations have a long history in some cities, they may not always operate in ways that enhance refugee and migrant integration. Comparing immigrant organizations is fruitful because it tells us more about city and national political systems and why distinct localities deal with cultural minorities differently. These comparisons can help the readers to understand the barriers and ladders that immigrants encounter in different cities and inform policy-makers in designing better approaches to incorporate immigrants.
... This is particularly important now that local authorities increasingly claim, and are given a larger role in, carving out the contents of citizenship for migrants. In extreme cases, for instance, large cities like Barcelona and Paris create a form of urban citizenship with separate municipal ID cards that give newcomers, including undocumented migrants, a wide range of rights not recognized by the nation-states at hand (Castañeda 2012). The more mundane, everyday practices that fill in and give substance to citizenship within a variety of local contexts, however, have received less attention. ...
Full-text available
This chapter considers the ‘local turn’ in the governance of migration and the politics of bordering by focusing on Participation Declaration workshops in the Netherlands. This country has long been a forerunner in using civic integration as a means of in- and exclusion, and recently obliged certain groups of newcomers to sign a Declaration stating that they know and will respect the ‘values and rules’ of Dutch society. In investigating how local authorities differ in their interpretation of this deeply symbolic law, the article analyses: (1) the governance assemblage responsible for local workshops; (2) the key role of street-level actors and their personal backgrounds in shaping them; and (3) how street-level actors use the workshops to convey pragmatic over more principled and value-laden understandings of citizenship.
... This is particularly important now that local authorities increasingly claim, and are given a larger role in, carving out the contents of citizenship for migrants. In extreme cases, for instance, large cities like Barcelona and Paris create a form of urban citizenship with separate municipal ID cards that give newcomers, including undocumented migrants, a wide range of rights not recognized by the nation-states at hand (Castañeda 2012). The more mundane, everyday practices that fill in and give substance to citizenship within a variety of local contexts, however, have received less attention. ...
This chapter considers the ‘local turn’ in the governance of migration and the politics of bordering by focusing on Participation Declaration workshops in the Netherlands. This country has long been a forerunner in using civic integration as a means of in- and exclusion, and recently obliged certain groups of newcomers to sign a Declaration stating that they know and will respect the ‘values and rules’ of Dutch society. In investigating how local authorities differ in their interpretation of this deeply symbolic law, the article analyses: (1) the governance assemblage responsible for local workshops; (2) the key role of street-level actors and their personal backgrounds in shaping them; and (3) how street-level actors use the workshops to convey pragmatic over more principled and value-laden understandings of citizenship.
... Furthermore, in Paris many individuals of North African-origin saw themselves as "foreigners" despite being citizens. Hometown associations and ethnic organizations are not perceived positively in Paris (Castañeda, 2012b). Indeed, most North Africans in Paris have internalized the French rejection of religious and ethnic clubs, although they continue to feel excluded from the local and national French community. ...
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This paper examines transnationalism across migrant generational statuses in three urban centers. The objective of this study is to explore how immigrant integration influences the maintenance of social and economic connections with the communities-of-origin. To accomplish this objective we examine the impact of socio-economic status and generational status (first to third) on whether respondents remit, visit their communities-of-origin, or desire to return. The data for this study is based on survey data collected in New York City, New York, U.S.A.;El Paso, Texas, U.S.A.;and Paris, France. We find that transnational practices differ across the three locations. In Paris we find evidence of reactive transnationalism — looking abroad due to exclusion in the new society. In New York, however, there is more support for resource-based transnationalism — better legal and socioeconomic integration that allows for more transnational involvement. Transnationalism in El Paso differs from NYC and Paris in large part due to being located along the U.S.-Mexico border. Surprisingly, we find that El Paso respondents are less transnational than those in Paris or New York when it comes to remittances, visiting, and the desire to return to the sending community. We conclude by proposing a new typology of transnationalism that accentuates the contextual aspects of these practices.
... While the study of ethnic associations as vehicles of integration dates back to the 1960s ( Breton 1964), recent scholarship examines the role of organizations in immigrant incorporation, political mobilization, and civic engagement across immigrant communities in Europe and North America ( Cordero-Guzman et al. 2008;Ramakrishnan and Bloemraad 2008;Castañeda 2012;Chaudhary and Guarnizo 2016;Brown 2016;De Graauw 2016). Concomitantly, research on immigrant transnationalism examines the ways in which organizations facilitate transnational networks and cross-border linkages between immigrant's homelands and receiving societies ( Goldring 2002;Smith 2005;Landolt 2008;Bada 2014;Morales and Pilati 2014;Portes and Fernandez-Kelly 2015). ...
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This article compares the transnational orientation of two immigrant organizational infrastructures in two different contexts of settlement: one that is shaped by historical and contemporary post-colonial bilateral ties and one that is shaped by non-colonial high-skilled migration and traditions of assimilation. Using the case of post-colonial Pakistani immigrants in London and non-colonial Pakistani immigrants in New York City (NYC), I explore how the presence of post-colonial bilateral ties between origin and receiving societies coupled with aggregate-level socioeconomic integration, shape the transnational orientation of Pakistani immigrant organizations in both cities. Data come from an original database of the universe of Pakistani non-profit organizations in London and NYC and 59 in-depth interviews. Findings reveal that the Pakistani organizational landscape in London is far more transnational than the organizational infrastructure in NYC. The transnational orientation of Pakistani immigrant organizations in London is interpreted to be associated with a high proportion of recent immigrants, historical political integration of Pakistanis into mainstream UK politics and a vibrant post-colonial development-aid infrastructure. Conversely, the NYC organizational infrastructure is primarily comprised of domestically-oriented religious organizations, which reflect traditions of assimilation in the US by fostering a sense of belonging within the NYC Pakistani immigrant community.
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This article focuses on the labour market integration of highly qualified female refugees in cosmopolitan Berlin and smaller towns in the county of Brandenburg. Based on interviews with civil society organisations designed mainly for female refugees, universities, employees of the job agency and government administrations, the gendered pathways of stratified access of this group to the labour markets of the two areas were analysed. Special attention was given to the role of emerging intermediary actors and their powers to influence stratified access to the labour markets. As this research shows, a variety of new approaches have evolved, and a web of migration-related jobs to support these women has been created – with marked regional differences.
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This comparative study focuses on how civil society structures influence youth from a Muslim background in their upward mobility and local belonging (to the neighbourhood and to the city). Under comparison are one banlieue in Paris and one barrio in Madrid, similar in terms of social precarity and yet different in their degree of ethnic and religious diversity, their connection to the city centre, the state funding they receive and their civic participation. In the case of the neighbourhood of San Cristóbal (Madrid), a lack of state investment has resulted in a diminished capacity for civil society to connect young people to new opportunities. However, their daily contact with the city centre, the ethnic diversity in the neighbourhood and collaborative efforts between secular and religious structures work together to foster a sense of mixed belonging among young Spanish Muslims. In contrast, significant investment by the State in the suburb of Les Bosquets (Paris) since the riots in 2005 have indeed linked young people to new opportunities, but at the cost of an institutionalisation of civil society structures. In Les Bosquets, increased ethnic segregation, geographical isolation, and the estrangement of religious and ‘laic’ (i.e. secular) organisations are all responsible for the new sense of malaise felt by youths, thus severely affecting their sense of belonging.
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Discourses on the rights, entitlements, and obligations of citizenship have changed dramatically in the past two decades as a result of the increasingly transnational character of global migration flows, cultural networks, and socio-political practices. The once taken for granted correspondence between citizenship, nation, and state has been questioned as new forms of grassroots citizenship have taken on an increasingly trans-territorial character. Resident non-citizens now routinely live and work in transnational cities throughout the world while maintaining social and political networks linking them to people and places located in their countries of origin. At the same time, the rise of supranational institutional networks and the global spread of the discourse on human rights also challenge received notions of state sovereignty. Some scholars (e.g., Soysal, 1994; Held, 1991) now depict the activities of international human rights agencies and the development of supranational authority structures like the European Union as signs of a new international order premised on the creation of plural authority and “transnational citizenship”. What sense can we make of these developments? What do they mean for the future of the nation-state? What prospects do they hold for the future of localities that become interconnected across borders by political practices and networks that I have elsewhere called “transnational urbanism?” (Smith, 1999,2001)
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Studies of the political incorporation of immigrants often have employed the concept of "generation" to understand how newcomer groups establish a voice in American politics. Such works include studies of the political behavior of "old" immigrants (Treudly 1949; Wirth 1941; Wolfinger 1965), African Americans (Browning, Marshall, and Tabb 1984; Keiser 1997; Pinderhughes 1997), and "new" immigrants (Filipcevic 2000; Kasinitz 1992; Pessar and Graham 2002; Warren 1997). The general thrust of all these studies is that second and later generations of immigrants (or, in the case of African Americans, the descendants of southern migrants to the North) will be more familiar with political institutions, more interested in politics, and more likely to express their political inclinations through activism and voting. This process, it is then argued, eventually gives rise to the classic indicators of political incorporation (Browning, Marshall, and Tabb 1984): Attainment of elective office, greater representation in public agencies, a role in the governing coalition, and increased attention to group needs. This chapter argues for a more nuanced understanding of how the "new second generation" is experiencing political incorporation. Even for immigrants of the same national origin, there is no uniform process by which the new second generation achieves political incorporation. Instead, while past patterns of ethnic politics contribute to the ways in which immigrant groups, or parts of groups, travel toward political involvement, other important factors shape modes of immigrant political participation as well. These variable factors also may produce uneven outcomes within and across groups. In particular, local demographics and the neighborhood political context have strong mediating influences on the political behavior and prospects of new immigrant groups, whether migrants or their U.S.-born children.1 The concept of immigrant generation per se appears far less salient in explaining the experiences of the new second generation than factors such as these, a finding echoed in a number of other chapters in this volume (for example, Butterfield, Malkin, and Trillo). This conclusion is underscored in an examination of the contrasting modes of political behavior found in two New York City neighborhoods with high concentrations of Dominicans, both first- and second-generation.
Naked City is a continuation of Prof. Sharon Zukin's earlier books (Loft Living and Cultures of Cities) and updates her views on how people use culture and capital in New York. Its focus is on a conflict between city dwellers' desire for authentic origins and new beginnings, which many contemporary megalopolises meet. City dwellers wish to defend their own moral rights to redefine their places for living given upscale constructions, rapid growth, and the ethics of standardization. The author shows how in the frameworks of this conflict they construct the perceived authenticity of common and uncommon urban places. Each book chapter tells about various urban spaces, uncovering different dimensions of authenticity in order to catch and explain fundamental changes in New York that emerged in the 1960s under the mixed influences of private investors, government, media, and consumer tastes. The Journal of Economic Sociology published "Introduction. The City That Lost Its Soul," where the author explains the general idea of the book. She discusses the reasons for the emergence and history of the social movement for authenticity, having combated both the government and private investors since the 1960s. Prof. Zukin also traces the transformation of the concept of authenticity from a property of a person, to a property of a thing, to a property of a life experience and power.
Long a fruitful area of scrutiny for students of organizations, the study of institutions is undergoing a renaissance in contemporary social science. This volume offers, for the first time, both often-cited foundation works and the latest writings of scholars associated with the "institutional" approach to organization analysis. In their introduction, the editors discuss points of convergence and disagreement with institutionally oriented research in economics and political science, and locate the "institutional" approach in relation to major developments in contemporary sociological theory. Several chapters consolidate the theoretical advances of the past decade, identify and clarify the paradigm's key ambiguities, and push the theoretical agenda in novel ways by developing sophisticated arguments about the linkage between institutional patterns and forms of social structure. The empirical studies that follow--involving such diverse topics as mental health clinics, art museums, large corporations, civil-service systems, and national polities--illustrate the explanatory power of institutional theory in the analysis of organizational change. Required reading for anyone interested in the sociology of organizations, the volume should appeal to scholars concerned with culture, political institutions, and social change.
Unlike the wave of immigration that came through Ellis Island and then subsided, immigration to the United States from Mexico has been virtually uninterrupted for one hundred years. In this vividly detailed book, Tomás R. Jiménez takes us into the lives of later-generation descendents of Mexican immigrants, asking for the first time how this constant influx of immigrants from their ethnic homeland has shaped their assimilation. His nuanced investigation of this complex and little-studied phenomenon finds that continuous immigration has resulted in a vibrant ethnicity that later-generation Mexican Americans describe as both costly and beneficial. Replenished Ethnicity sheds new light on America's largest ethnic group, making it must reading for anyone interested in how immigration is changing the United States.