Anthropology •  Latin America and Women

$29.95 paperback

Add to Cart

Women's Migration Networks in Mexico and Beyond

Tamar Diana Wilson

Recipient of the Silver 2012 Past Presidents' Book Award from the Association for Borderlands Studies

Despite women's presence in migration streams since the mid-nineteenth century, research on Mexican women's migration has a significantly shorter history than that which focuses on Mexican men. In this contemporary anthropological study, Tamar Diana Wilson couples an analytical migratory network analysis with an intimate ethnography and oral history to explore the characteristics, development, and dynamics of migration networks for Mexican women. Centering on the story of doña Consuelo, a woman Wilson met in a Mexicali squatter settlement in 1988, as well as on the stories of her two daughters in the United States, this study examines the vital role that women's networks play, both within Mexico and transnationally, not only in assisting other women to migrate, but in providing support for male family members as well.

Following a summary of the history of Mexican migration and women's increasing participation in the migration stream to the United States, Wilson provides a brief history of women's labor in Mexico and changes in gender relations during the last few decades. She then introduces key concepts in migration theory, such as network mediation, social capital formation, and transnational migration, which are revisited throughout the book. Subsequent chapters are dedicated to the migration and adaptation experiences of doña Consuelo and her family members as expressed through conversations, interviews, and the author's observations.


Tamar Diana Wilson is a research affiliate with the department of anthropology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is the author of Subsidizing Capitalism: Brickmakers on the U.S.-Mexico Border in addition to many journal articles.


"By weaving interlocking issues into a highly accessible ethnography, Wilson makes a valuable contribution to the growing bodies of scholarship on social networks, migration, gender, and culture change in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. I highly recommend this fascinating book to both scholars and students."


Gender & Society

"Wilson’s special attention to women’s roles in migration networks helps close a gap
in the literature on the subject as well as contributing to migration theory. Her book gives the reader a glimpse of the diversity and complexity of migrant networks based upon the experience of one family. Doña Consuelo’s strength in the face of adversity leaves a lasting impression, and her story is a unique contribution to our understanding of migrant networks."


Latin American Perspectives

6 x 9 in. 232 pages 1 figs., 1 maps, 3 charts, 11 tables