Mexican Gardeners in the USA
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Today, visitors to Los Angeles and to other leafy suburban residential neighbourhoods in California are greeted by visual panoramas of pristinely manicured lawns and the constant hum of machinery, as gas-powered blowers, mowers, and trimmers are used to prune, manage, and manicure foliage and dispose of debris around private homes. Not long ago, mowing the front lawn was a weekly chore performed without pay by the man of the house, or by a teenage son who might have received a modest allowance for the task. The family man mowing the lawn was an iconic American image seen in scores of television shows and American front lawns on Saturday afternoons. Today it is rare to see male homeowners or family members mowing or raking their lawns in the middle class neighbourhoods of California. Unpaid male family labour has been replaced by Latino immigrant jardineros, who work six days a week, and often, on Sundays too. Gardening is the masculine counterpart of interior domestic work. Latino immigrant men, most of them from Mexico, now prevail in the occupational niche of suburban maintenance gardening.
KeywordsSocial Capital Domestic Work Undocumented Immigrant Immigrant Worker Ethnic Enclave
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