In Jalos, USA, Alfredo Mirande explores migration between the Mexican town of Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, and Turlock, California, and shows how migrants retain a primal identity with their community of origin. The study examines how family, gender, courtship, religion, and culture promote a Mexicanised version of the "American Dream" for la gente de Jalos.
After introducing traditional theories of migration and describing a distinctly circular migration pattern between Jalos and Turlock, Mirande introduces a model of transnationalism. Residents move freely back and forth across the border, often at great risk, adopting a transnational village identity that transcends both the border and conventional national or state identities. Mirande's findings are based on participant observation, ethnographic field research, and captivating in-depth personal interviews conducted on both sides of the border with a wide range of respondents. To include multiple perspectives, Mirande conducts focus group interviews with youth in Jalos and Turlock, as well as interviews with priests and social service providers. Together, these data provide both a rich account of experiences as well as assessments of courtship practices and problems faced by contemporary migrants. Jalos, USA is written in an accessible style that will appeal to students and scholars of Latino and migration studies, policy makers, and laypersons interested in immigration, the border, and transnational migration.