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Gender, the household and migration: a case study of migration from Guadalajara, Mexico, to the United States

Gooster, Elizabeth; (1996) Gender, the household and migration: a case study of migration from Guadalajara, Mexico, to the United States. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D.), University College London (United Kingdom). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores the interaction of gender with the social process of migration. The context is the migration flow from the city of Guadalajara, in the traditional Mexican migrant-sending state of Jalisco, to the United States. The thesis addresses a specific conceptual gap in the literature by analysing gender theoretically as an integral part of the migration process. The urban location of the research project also adds to the originality of the thesis in that empirical investigations of migration from Mexican cities are scarce, despite the fact that the increasingly urban background of Mexican migrants in the US has been noted in the literature. Following a critical overview of conventional theories of migration, a gendered household approach is proposed as a conceptual framework to assess the role of gender in migration and to combine the micro- and macro-levels of analysis. This approach is elaborated through a discussion of important debates in feminist discourses. Primary data were obtained using a multiple methodology combining quantitative and qualitative field techniques. A random survey conducted in three working class communities in Guadalajara produced 175 completed questionnaires, which were complemented by 58 semi-structured interviews. The analysis of the data is structured around three overlapping themes, focusing on the household in the sending community; the act of migration itself; and the experiences of migrants at their destination. Among the major conclusions is that the migration process is characterised by differentiation at every stage, and that this differentiation occurs both within and between households. Gender is an important influence on how migration is experienced, but women too are differentiated in their engagement with it. Moreover, the diversity of the migration process is structured not only by gender but also by several other factors and their interactions. These influential factors operate at the individual, household and societal levels. It is argued that the gendered household approach best takes account of all three in a more holistic analysis of migration.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D.
Title: Gender, the household and migration: a case study of migration from Guadalajara, Mexico, to the United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: (UMI)AAI10105204; Health and environmental sciences; Gender; Guadalajara; Household; Mexico; Migration
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101822
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