The Intersections of Transnational and Internal Migration: Gender, Kinship, and Care
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This dissertation analyzes the intersections of different forms of migrations, and how such intersections shape and are shaped by gendered kinship and care relationships. In other words, I analyze how the ways in which people relate, and how they define and redefine their gender identities as they become mobile in diverse ways. This dissertation is based on ethnographic research conducted with the Zapotec community of Zegache, Oaxaca. Research took place in Oaxaca (Mexico), Mexico City, and Oregon. I approach the study of different migrations from a transborder perspective that is able to better capture how the crossing of different borders (national, regional, ethnic, rural and urban) has different meanings and consequences for migrant men and women from Zegache. I analyze how different forms of mobility and migration are constructed and discussed in scholarly works and “in the field.” The definition of who is a migrant is even more complicated as we consider that men and women from Zegache often engage in more than one form of migration. Thus, women who migrate to Mexico City sometimes will also migrate to the U.S. Even if women don’t migrate, they are increasingly becoming mobile and commuting to Oaxaca City, and are often in families with transnational migrants. In the same manner, men who join the military (which, I argue, is a form of migration) often become transnational migrants themselves. This dissertation looks at the articulations of intersecting migrations shows how relatedness and gender identities become constructed and re-constructed when people become mobile.