The Last Best Place? Gender, Family and Migration in the New West
Book by Leah Schmalzbauer, Amherst College
Reviewed by J. Dwight Hines, Point Park University
J. Dwight Hines of Point Park University reviews The Last Best Place? by Leah Schmalzbaue. Professor Schmalzbaue explores the multiple racial and class-related barriers that Mexican migrants must negotiate in the unique context of Montana’s rural gentrification. These daily life struggles and inter-group power dynamics are deftly examined through extensive interviews and ethnography, as are the ways gender structures inequalities within migrant families and communities. The research extends even farther to highlight the power of place and demonstrate how Montana’s geography and rurality intersect with race, class, gender, family, illegality, and transnationalism to affect migrants’ well-being and aspirations. Though the New West is just one among many new destinations, it forces us to recognize that the geographic subjectivities and intricacies of these destinations must be taken into account to understand the full complexity of migrant life.
Read the book review at https://doi.org/10.1111/imre.12338.