Gabriela Echegoyen Nava, Manchester Metropolitan University
Gabriela is a final year PhD student in Sociology. She conducted an ethnographic investigation of the everyday lives of undocumented Mexican migrants in the USA and non-migrant members of their transnational families in Mexico. Her study gives an account of how separations resulting from migration reconfigure family relationships, emotional exchanges and perceptions of the self for both those who left and those who stayed behind. At the same time, it analyses how undocumented status influences migrants’ integration to the society of arrival, as well as hopes and expectations and plans for settlement or return.
Her research was based in two locations in the USA − Texas and California − as well as in both a small town and two cities in Mexico from where the immigrant cohorts originated. These cohorts differed mainly in their demographic origin (rural/ urban), social class (working-class/ middle-class origins in Mexico), level of education (primary/ high school and higher) and modes of crossing (entry without inspection/ visa overstayers). Hence, this study looks at similar and contrasting experiences of migrants and non-migrants, discussing the interplay between demographic origin, class and intergenerational relations, and the ‘intersectionality’ of these with gender relations.
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