Drawing on two years of ethnographic fieldwork in two impoverished California communitiesone made up of recent immigrants from Mexico, the other of U.S.-born Chicano citizensthis book provides an invaluable comparative perspective on Latino poverty in contemporary America. In northern Californias high-tech Silicon Valley, author Daniel Dohan shows how recent immigrants get by on low-wage babysitting and dish-cleaning jobs. In the housing projects of Los Angeles, he documents how families and communities of U.S.-born Mexican Americans manage the social and economic dislocations of persistent poverty. Taking readers into worlds where public assistance, street crime, competition for low-wage jobs, and family, pride, and cross-cultural experiences intermingle, The Price of Poverty offers vivid portraits of everyday life in these Mexican American communities while addressing urgent policy questions such as: What accounts for joblessness? How can we make sense of crime in poor communities? Does welfare hurt or help?
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