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John Arroyo


Mellon Fellow

Affiliation at time of award:
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

John Arroyo

Shadow Suburbanism: Mexican Everyday Life and Fear in Greater Atlanta

Historical patterns of U.S. migration locate Latino immigrants in dense urban centers, but recent demographic shifts reveal peripheral suburbs and exurbs—specifically in the South—as the new host destinations for Latino settlement. This “Latinization” phenomenon is evident by spatial changes to housing, commercial corridors, public space, and transportation networks that are inconsistent with the previous image of white, suburban America. As suburban ethnic diversity rapidly gains more ground, however, the discourse on Latinos and their right to the city continues to be politicized, questioned, and debated. Mr. Arroyo’s project relies on qualitative data (interviews, participation observation, and archival policy and news data) to analyze the role that municipal-level institutions in suburban Atlanta (Gwinnett County) play in planning and designing for growing influxes of Mexican immigration since 2000. This project illustrates how fear, invisibility, and immigrant agency manifest across a variety of Mexican communities and their suburban-built environments.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Generous funding for this Fellowship provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.