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Emerging Voices Lecture: John Arroyo, "Shadow Suburbanism: Mexican Everyday Life, Fear, and Space in Greater Atlanta"

Emerging Voices Lecture: John Arroyo, "Shadow Suburbanism: Mexican Everyday Life, Fear, and Space in Greater Atlanta"

Historical patterns of U.S. migration locate Latino immigrants in dense urban centers, but recent demographic shifts reveal peripheral suburbs and exurbs—specifically in the South—as the new host destinations for Latino settlement. This “Latinization” phenomenon is evident by spatial changes to housing, commercial corridors, and transportation networks that are inconsistent with the previous image of white, suburban America. As suburban ethnic diversity rapidly gains more ground, however, the discourse on Latinos and their right to the city continues to be politicized, questioned, and debated. This project relies on multiple years of qualitative fieldwork (bilingual interviews, participation observation, and archival policy and news data) to analyze the role that municipal-level institutions in suburban Atlanta (Gwinnett County) play in planning and designing physical infrastructure for growing influxes of Mexican immigration since 2000. Overall, this research analyzes how the immigrant agency and coping mechanisms manifest across a variety of Mexican communities and their suburban-built environments during an intense era of fear and visibility.

This lecture is part of P+ARG's Emerging Voices Lecture Series supported by Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop. P+ARG is an interdisciplinary research group created by and for the doctoral students at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. P+ARG's main purpose is to enhance the social and academic experiences of research students in the college. Our Emerging Voices (EV) lecture series has brought more than a dozen outstanding scholars to campus since its inception in 2009.