A Grounded Identidad: Making New Lives in Chicago's Puerto Rican Neighborhoods

Merida M Maria Rua*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook

36 Scopus citations


In 1946 two distinct migrant groups arrived in the City of Neighborhoods from the island of Puerto Rico. One, a small group of University of Puerto Rico graduates who had earned scholarships to attend the University of Chicago; the other, contract laborers recruited by an employment agency for household and factory work. It was the beginning of Chicago's Puerto Rican community, a virtual colony of the US's Caribbean empire in the industrial heartland. This work, focusing on the end of World War II to the present, is a story of everyday Puerto Ricans and their evolving sense of place and personhood within the setting of a rich range of social experiences, among them migration, settlement, urban renewal, gentrification, political mobilizations, and community commemorations. It traces the complex ethnoracial dimensions of identity and space and their necessary connections; thus, for example, exploring the ways in which whites, African Americans, and particularly Mexican immigrants and migrants, in part, shaped the meanings of Puerto Rican-ness even as Puerto Ricans modified their own identities. Identidad and communities are considered in relation to one another rather than in isolation. This study shows the varied ways Puerto Ricans came to understand their identities and rights within and beyond the city they made home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages256
ISBN (Electronic)9780199950256
ISBN (Print)9780199760268
StatePublished - Sep 20 2012


  • Chicago
  • Community Commemorations
  • Gentrification
  • Identidad
  • Identity
  • Migration
  • Migration
  • Political Mobilizations
  • Puerto Ricans
  • Settlement
  • Urban Renewal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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