Profundo fe across the border : popular Catholicism and Its manifestation in a central Texas community

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Montemayor, Isabel

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With each new wave of immigrants, the face of the U. S. changes. Based on qualitative research conducted in a traditionally Euro-American Catholic Church in Austin, Texas; this thesis describes the manifestation of Latin American popular religion, in a multilayered space. I examine how trends like immigration have had an affect on the dynamic of the Church and altered the social spaces already established. I draw from Orlando Espin's theory of suffering latinamente to illustrate the importance of popular religious expression on the part of new immigrants. The concepts of habitus and spiritual capital, adapted from Bourdieu's theory of Cultural Capital, are used to express how ethnic groups with conflicting perspectives are constantly negotiating their religiosity in an effort to maintain, that which is familiar to them. I argue that Latino immigrants are changing the dynamic of the community and infusing their traditions to the best of their ability, while at the same time losing absolute traditionalism due to the European American presence of the church and society in which they live.