Postville Changes Colors

By Akshay Durvasula and Teja Kommera

Residential Segregation-The degree to which two or more groups live separately from one another.

The Mexicans experienced residential segregation in the town of Postville because the long term residents raised the prices of their homes so that the immigrants could not afford them. Then these immigrants would have to live in the trailer homes pictured below. This is described as residential segregation because the two cultural groups lived separately from one another, one in houses , the others in trailer homes.
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Cultural Barriers - a prevailing attitude rendering certain ideas or practices unacceptable or unadoptable

The Christian citizens of Postville are used to keeping their lawn green and well trimmed. The Jews did not maintain their lawns and did not care about having their lawn well mowed. This prevailing attitude of the older citizens of Postville created a cultural barrier between the older Postville citizens and the Jews.
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Ethnocentrism - the practice of judging another culture based the standards of one's own culture

Ethnocentrism was prevalent is Postville mostly when the Jews first entered the town. The locals were confused when the Jews did things differently than they did because the locals were judging the Jews based on what they believed and not on what the Jews believed. The locals simply did not understand why the Jews would not pray in the local church, why the Jews did not come to join the locals at the non-kosher bakery, and why the Jews would not take care of their lawns.
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Commodification - An object that was previously not able to be bought or sold becomes something that can be bought or sold

Jews are prohibited by their religious laws to eat pork, so they opened a kosher meat plant to suit their needs. Commodification has taken place because kosher foods were not sold before the Jews entered Postville. Once the Jews entered Postville, kosher foods were able to be bought and sold through the kosher meat plant.

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Sequent Occupance-The impacts of sequential imprints of occupants whose impacts are layered on top of one another

Sequent Occupance is present in Postville due to the two generations of immigrants that came to the town. The first wave was the Jews and the second wave was the Mexicans. Kosher meat plants were established by the Jews of the first wave and the Jews quickly became the higher class of citizens in Postville. The Mexicans were the second wave of immigrants and they filled positions in the factories that the Jews had started. The Mexicans also changed the way the local church functioned and contributed to the residential segregation that was soon being "forced" by the real estate.
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Relocation Diffusion-The movement of individuals who carry their ideas to a new distant locale and proceed to disseminate it.

Relocation Diffusion occurred in Postville when the Jews moved in. As the Jews came into Postville, they brought their ideas with them, such as eating kosher food and abstaining from eat pork. These ideas were then disseminated into the rest of Postville, and a kosher factory was created. When the Mexicans came into Postville, they brought with them their traditions of the piñata, their music, and the type of foods that they ate. An example of relocation diffusion can be seen in the picture below when a Jewish boy tries to break the piñata.

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Barriorization - drastic changes in neighborhood population

Barriorization occurred when the Mexicans came to Postville. The church, which was usually predominantly white, now had to adopt Spanish as the primary language for Saturday night service because of the abundance of Mexicans in the town that attended the church. This caused some of the former church members to drive to another town to worship. As more and more Mexican immigrants came into Postville, the church slowly became predominantly Spanish, an example of Barriorization.
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