Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Keywords

Ethnic studies

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Given that processes of globalization now significantly trouble the 'natural' boundaries of geographic territories, questions of spatiality--space and place, boundaries and mobility, flows and interconnections--have become foundational to contemporary migration research. In this context, scholars now generally acknowledge that many migrants organize their daily lives across the borders of nation states. This dissertation explores the under researched transnational lives of Mexican migrants in Canada--lives lived here and there. The study corroborates the widely perceived need to 'ground' the study of transnationalism, by advancing embodied transnationalism which explores the intimate, material and corporeal social-spatial relations from which the practices of transnational engagement are produced. The research highlights the importance of attending to affective transnationalism by demonstrating the emotive, intimate and subjective geographies of Mexican transnationalism in Canada, as well as their importance in shaping transnational practices. Findings document the existence of rich transnational social spaces, as well as the ways in which migrants are embedded in localities which are powerfully mediated by gender and class. Research participants' stories of migration reflect the struggle of leading lives 'in-between' and a strong sense of belonging to place, or emotional embeddedness in Mexico. In this way, the research speaks to both: the fluid reconfigurative potential of transnationalism and the solid 'multiple hegemonies' that underpin Mexican migrants' struggles to produce locality in an increasingly globalized world.

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