Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"Tacos!, Burritos!, Tortas!": Migrant entrepreneurs' quest for economic mobility and safe spaces in Arizona
by Hidalgo, LeighAnna G., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2012, 111; 1522578
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis is an ethnographic study of food truck vendors in Phoenix, Arizona that shows the lived realities of Mexican migrant entrepreneurs, including their struggles and their successes. Although many consider food vending a marginal profession, I argue that these vendors play a critical role in the local economy by creating opportunities for families and extended networks to accumulate wealth and upward mobility. I also illustrate how these entrepreneurs conceptualize success, believing their enterprises are crucial to immigrants' struggles because they provide goods and services to racially segregated communities. Further, by comparing and contrasting different types of food truck vendors I show how political activism and community organizing can lead to greater economic success. Ultimately, this thesis shows that despite strict immigration policies, migrant entrepreneurs in Phoenix have claimed their own public space that provides a safe haven for migrants seeking a better future in the United States.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Howell, Jayne
Commitee: Arroyo, Luis, Loewe, Ron
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 51/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Entrepreneurship, Hispanic American studies
Publication Number: 1522578
ISBN: 978-1-303-01990-6
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