Networks and Marginality. Life in a Mexican Shantytown by Larissa Adler Lomnitz, E. A. Hammel

By Larissa Adler Lomnitz, E. A. Hammel

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Extra resources for Networks and Marginality. Life in a Mexican Shantytown

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There are also a few gangs of adolescent boys who are no longer going to school and who do not yet have jobs. They may be seen sitting around near the entrance to the shantytown or leaning against a wall, talking. During the morning hours there are small groups of jobless men talking outside the small shops where beer is sold. By midmorning the shantytown is bustling with activity. Street vendors walk by offering their wares to the women who work or sit out of doors. Elderly men and women set out stands in front of their homes with small amounts of merchandise.

They include representatives of different social strata. . many of which acquire some prior experience of urban life... as a result of compulsory military service. Many migrants are craftsmen or semi-skilled workers; some young men have secondary schooling... village craftsmen or non-farmers find it easier to migrate than the peon who may lack any useable urban skill. Again, the semi-literate are more likely to migrate than the illiterate and those having relatives in the city more than those who lack such relatives [Butterworth 1971:87].

He also sold small plots to 15 families, most of whom came from the State of Mexico. A family of caretakers from the sandpits east of the present shantytown later decided to settle there. During the early 1940s urban development of the neighborhoods of Las Aguilas and Merced Gomez began. Some of the construction workers rented plots of land from the owner of the brick factory. Others came to the general area as caretakers of plots or constructions, and eventually moved into the shantytown. Soon they were joined by many relatives from the countryside.

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