International migration and its consequences on the social construction of gender: a case study of a Mexican rural town
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This thesis is the result of ethnographic research conducted in a sending community in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. This study calls into question the stereotypical view of Mexican women as passive and traditional. There are several conclusions reached during this study. First, the results reject Menjivar's (1999) and Levitt's (1998) argument. In the community studies, an unfulfilled economic or emotional absence encourages women to challenge the system of practice of Nurangi (participation in the labor force) even in the absence of a migration experience. Second, the analysis shows that contrary to our hypothesis, the physical absence of the male is not a trigger mechanism for women's participation in the labor force. Third, women from both migrant and non-migrant related groups have increased their human capital. However, migrant and non-migrant related women who participated in market activities not only expanded their human capital but also gained an economic and emotional benefit. Finally, the interviews have also shown that contrary to some literature that views Mexican women as passive and subordinate agents, the women in the Nurangi community are active agents, and what is sometimes perceived as a static gender division of labor is rather a fluid.
Ayala Garcia, Maria Isabel (2003). International migration and its consequences on the social construction of gender: a case study of a Mexican rural town. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from