Mutuality in El Barrio: Stories of the Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service

Empire State Editions: Fordham Univ. May 2024. 192p. ISBN 9781531506438. pap. $24.95. SOC SCI
This inspiring book offers a history of the Little Sisters of Assumption (LSA), an association of religious women. Founded in Paris in 1865, it continues with its present-day incarnation in East Harlem. The story of the LSA is enriched by Kasten (Spanish language and literature, Fordham Univ.; The Cultural Politics of Twentieth-Century Spanish Theater) and Moore’s (theology, Fordham Univ.; Kindred Spirits) rigorous assembly of personal accounts by families whose lives were made better through the LSA’s present-day work. The phrase “mutual aid society” takes on new meaning as newly arrived Mexicans and Central Americans find themselves working side-by-side with LSA staff, even as they receive LSA assistance to help them settle into their new homes. This reciprocity is key to empowering and enabling immigrants to flourish in as educators and community leaders in their own right. The power of storytelling is evident in this book, where individuals get their say. It becomes clear that the “little” in LSA’s name is a misnomer; the goals and spirit of this determined organization are big, especially in the face of scarce resources and daunting circumstances.
VERDICT Highly recommended for collections supporting sociologists, social workers, social justice research, and the study of grassroots and nonprofit organizations.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing