(Article of periodic en Anglais - 2014)

Document title

The emergence of the “temporary Mexican” : American agriculture, the US Congress, and the 1920 hearings on the temporary admission of illiterate Mexican laborers

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)

(1) Univ. of Illinois, Chicago, ETATS-UNIS


This article examines the emergence of the trope of the “temporary Mexican,” that is, the migrant farm laborer, to the 1920 congressional hearings on the “admission of illiterate Mexican laborers.” He argues that this construction was the brainchild of southwestern agriculture and its congressional supporters who sought to conceive of the Mexican laborer in terms consistent with the eugenic, lib-eral, and socially conservative sensibilities of the time. What resulted from this strategic creative process was the temporary Mexican, a new breed of peon who had free will and was biologically destined to return to Mexico. This temporariness, which was what made this social construction most palatable in the 1920s, has stayed with Mexicans (and Latinos generally) to the modern day, turning them into an in-between group whose membership is always suspect


Article of periodic

published at : Latin American research review / ISSN 0023-8791

Editor : Latin American Studies Association, Pittsburgh, PA - ETATS-UNIS (1965)

Millesime : 2014, vol. 49, no3 [pp. 85-102]

Bibliographic references : 3 p.



INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 23897

Digital Object Identifier

Go to electronic document thanks to its DOI : doi:10.1353/lar.2014.0042

Tous droits réservés © Prodig - Bibliographie Géographique Internationale (BGI), 2014
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