This study reclaims and builds upon the classic work of anthropologist Elena Padilla in an effort to examine constructions of space and identity among Latinos. The volume includes an annotated edition of Padilla's 1947 University of Chicago master's thesis, "Puerto Rican Immigrants in New York and Chicago: A Study in Comparative Assimilation," which broke with traditional urban ethnographies and examined racial identities and interethnic relations. Weighing the importance of gender and the interplay of labor, residence, and social networks, Padilla examined the integration of Puerto Rican migrants into the social and cultural life of the larger community where they settled. Also included are four comparative and interdisciplinary original essays that foreground the significance of Padilla's early study about Latinos in Chicago. Contributors discuss the implications of her groundbreaking contributions to urban ethnographic traditions and to the development of Puerto Rican studies and Latina/o studies.
Contributors are Nicholas De Genova, Zaire Z. Dinzey-Flores, Elena Padilla, Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas, Mérida M. Rúa, and Arlene Torres.