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Journal Article

Latina M(other)work against racism: living with legal precarity in suburban Atlanta


Lanari,  Elisa       
Socio-Cultural Diversity, MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Max Planck Society;

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Lanari, E. (2022). Latina M(other)work against racism: living with legal precarity in suburban Atlanta. Ethnic and Racial Studies. doi:10.1080/01419870.2022.2110382.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-6D77-6
This piece explores the resistance strategies of Latina mothers grappling with
racism and legal precarity in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, a “hostile” new
destination with restrictive anti-immigrant measures. It draws on 18 months
of ethnographic research to show how women derived a sense of
empowerment from becoming involved in their children’s schooling. They
also turned schools into “counter-spaces” of sanctuary and support for fellow
Latinx parents. The author sees this educational activism spanning both
domestic and public school spaces as an expression of m(other)work. M
(other)work is the gendered labor of care that supports Latinx children and
communities as they fight against intersecting forms of exclusion. This labor,
stemming from traumatic experiences of border crossing, is at the heart of
emerging forms of immigrant activism in new destinations. In conclusion, the
author urges educators to abandon traditional deficit framings of immigrant
groups in favor of initiatives that support Latina mothers’ educational activism.