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Paradise Transplanted

Migration and the Making of California Gardens

Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 304 pages
ISBN: 9780520277779
August 2014
$29.95, £24.00
Other Formats Available:
Gardens are immobile, literally rooted in the earth, but they are also shaped by migration and by the transnational movement of ideas, practices, plants, and seeds. In Paradise Transplanted, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo reveals how successive conquests and diverse migrations have made Southern California gardens, and in turn how gardens influence social inequality, work, leisure, status, and our experiences of nature and community. Drawing on historical archival research, ethnography, and over one hundred interviews with a wide range of people including suburban homeowners, paid Mexican immigrant gardeners, professionals at the most elite botanical garden in the West, and immigrant community gardeners in the poorest neighborhoods of inner-city Los Angeles, this book offers insights into the ways that diverse global migrations and garden landscapes shape our social world.
List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Gardens of Migration
2. Ellis Island on the Land
3. The Gardeners of Eden
4. “It’s a Little Piece of My Country”
5. Cultivating Elite Inclusion
6. Paradise, Future
Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo is Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California and the author of Gendered Transitions, God’s Heart Has No Borders, and Domestica. She is regarded as one of the most accomplished and imaginative immigration scholars in sociology today.
"The book is a tour de force, essential reading for all who want to know more about the Californian landscape."—British Journal of Sociology
"...illuminates social organization of the region far beyond gardens, with obvious significance outside Southern California."—Gender & Society
"Illuminating and provocative . . . pushes urbanists and gardeners alike to see their work from new and unexpected angles.”—Priscilla P. Ferguson Social Forces
Paradise Transplanted provides an absorbing narrative about how gardens are spaces where the past and the future merge, and where the local and global meet to form new practices and possibilities.”—City and Community
"A worthwhile read."—Peter Catron International Migration Review
"Hondagneu-Sotelo renders a powerful narrative that provides readers with an easy visualization of the natural spaces…One can imagine teaching Paradise Transplanted to undergraduates as both methodological example and illustration of C. Wright Mills’s clarion call for the sociological imagination."—American Journal of Sociology
“…offers a timely, creative, and highly readable study of plants and people in the California landscape…an ingenious and unusual research design, one that crosscuts social classes, ethnic groups, immigrant generations, and organizational contexts.”—Contemporary Sociology
“…a brilliant contribution to migration studies, history, urban planning, geography and landscape studies.”—Home Cultures: The Journal of Architecture, Design and Domestic Space
"How can we bring our cityscapes closer to the paradise that we yearn for? Paradise Transplanted pushes urbanists and gardeners alike to see their work from new and unexpected angles. Our cities will be the better for it."—Priscilla P. Ferguson Social Forces
"Hondagneu-Sotelo offers us an entirely new way of understanding, quite literally, the landscape of immigration. And in so doing she also shows us how this is the landscape of Los Angeles. Paradise Transplanted is a highly original book that is beautifully written and brings together sociology, geography, history, and urban planning in new and compelling ways. It will forever change how you 'see' Los Angeles."—Laura Pulido is the author of Black, Brown, Yellow And Left: Radical Activism In Los Angeles, as well as co-author of A People's Guide To Los Angeles.

"In her usual unique and creative way, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo does it again by taking us through an unexpected window to explore social processes we think we already know. The link between migrating people and migrating seeds provides fresh insights into immigration, the changing landscape, inequality, and our understanding of place. A beautiful and rewarding read, chock-full of satisfying surprises."—Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College and Harvard University

"This is a fascinating book! Its powerful narrative conveys the functional and symbolic importance of gardens for immigrants -- as settings for healing and self-expression, but also their possible dark side -- as sites of oppression and exclusion. Through her captivating ethnography at three different Southern California sites, the author tells us a story that is not only simply about gardens but also about power relations, cultural and environmental sustainability, and social justice."—Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Professor, UCLA Department of Urban Planning

"In humanizing nature through their gardening, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo reveals how immigrants have created communities of meaning, hierarchies of pleasure and power, and landscapes of beauty. Paradise Transplanted is a labor of love, projecting a brilliant light onto the social structure of Southern California—from the intense work of inner-city neighborhoods to the manicured world of middle class suburbs, to the aristocratic display of trans-continental elites. Public sociology at its best."—Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley.

"Paradise Transplanted is a passionate book about an important and influential region. Hondagneu-Sotelo investigates Southern California gardens to challenge both our understanding of the region's past, especially its founding myth as an Eden in the wilderness, and its future as a crossroads of migration."—Sharon Zukin, author of Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places

2015 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize, Foundation for Landscape Studies

2015 Honorable Mention, Thomas and Znaniecki Best Book Award, International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association

2015 C. Wright Mills Book Award Finalist, Society for the Study of Social Problems

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