Date

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Department

American Studies

First Adviser

Ceron Anaya, Hugo

Other advisers/committee members

Krasas, Jackie

Abstract

In an increasingly globalized world, political and popular discourse surrounding the phenomenon of transnational migration (particularly from Mexico to the United States) center the decision to migrate at an individual level. Doing so, however, disregards the multi-layered contexts inherent in the historical relationship between these two countries, contexts from which migratory decisions, strategies, and patterns originate. Centering the discussion on individual actions renders invisible how U.S. policies create transnational movements and, in fact, how state policies lead to the formation of intricate, transnational migrant networks. This work explores the necessity and creation of those networks, as well as the social and cultural capital that sustain them. In particular, it examines the roles faith plays among transnational migrants, and argues that spirituality, along with the cultural connections that sustain it, provides migrants with a resource through which they are able to prepare for, undertake, and survive their clandestine journey northward.

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