An Impossible Living in a Transborder World
264 pages, 6 x 9
17 illustrations, 9 tables
Paperback
Release Date:15 Dec 2010
ISBN:9780816526352
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An Impossible Living in a Transborder World

The University of Arizona Press

They are known as cundinas or tandas in Mexico, and for many people these local savings-and-loan operations play an indispensable role in the struggle to succeed in today's transborder economy. With this extensively researched book, Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez updates and expands upon his major 1983 study of rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs), incorporating new data that reflect the explosion of Mexican-origin populations in the United States. Much more than a study of one economic phenomenon though, the book examines the way in which these practices are part of greater transnational economies and how these populations engage in--and suffer through--the twenty-first century global economy.

Central to the ROSCA is the cultural concept of mutual trust, or confianza. This is the cultural glue that holds the reciprocal relationship together. As Vélez-Ibáñez explains, confianza "shapes the expectations for relationships within broad networks of interpersonal links, in which intimacies, favors, goods, services, emotion, power, or information are exchanged." In a border region where migration, class movement, economic changes, and institutional inaccessibility produce a great deal of uncertainty, Mexican-origin populations rely on confianza and ROSCAs to maintain a sense of security in daily life. How do transborder people adapt these common practices to meet the demands of a global economy? That is precisely what Vélez-Ibáñez investigates.

Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez is the author of Bonds of Mutual Trust: The Cultural Systems of Rotating Credit Associations among Urban Mexicans and Chicanos and Border Visions: Mexican Cultures of the Southwest, the latter published by the University of Arizona Press. He currently serves as Presidential Motorola Professor of Neighborhood Revitalization, as well as Chairman of the Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies at Arizona State University.
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