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Mexican Entrepreneurs And Markets In The City Of Los Angeles: A Case Of An Immigrant Enclave

Robert M. Alvarez, Jr.
Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development
Vol. 19, No. 1/2, Immigrants in U.S. Cities (SPRING-SUMMER, 1990), pp. 99-124
Published by: Institute, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40553177
Page Count: 26
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Mexican Entrepreneurs And Markets In The City Of Los Angeles: A Case Of An Immigrant Enclave
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Abstract

Mexican immigrants have been described as a classic secondary labor market flow that fills unskilled and menial sectors of the U.S. economy. This immigrant flow is not seen as exhibiting the characteristics necessary to form immigrant enclaves, a specific mode of incorporation into the economic sector of the U.S. This paper explores the example of Mexican immigrant entrepreneurial activity in the wholesale produce industry in the City of Los Angeles, illustrating the primary characteristics defined for other immigrant enclaves. This article reviews the dual economy and labor market theory as described for the Mexican immigrant. Borrowing from anthropological studies of markets, the structure of the Los Angeles Produce Market is described as a hierarchy of activity in which immigrants and Mexican Americans are incorporated into differing strata. The complex that makes up the entrepreneurial activity of Mexicans and the corresponding work force and clientele are seen as exhibiting the primary aspects of an immigrant enclave.

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