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Thesis Updated 10-15-2002

Thesis Updated 10-15-2002

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Published by Stephen Sills

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Published by: Stephen Sills on Mar 14, 2008
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Social, Economic and Symbolic Ties:
 
An Analysis of Transnationalism In Mexican Communities
 
By
 
Stephen J. Sills
 
A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfillment
 
of the Requirements for the Degree
 
Master of Arts
 
Arizona State University
 
Dec
ember 2000
 
 
ABSTRACT
:
Mass migration flows result from structural causes such as international wagedifferentials, relative stability of employment in destination countries, relativedeprivation in sending countries and historical linkages between sendin
g and receiving
nations. Migration is equally a social phenomenon that affects individuals, families andwhole communities who build and maintain social webs or networks across greatphysical and political boundaries, and even generations. Regardless of th
e kind of 
migration flow, migrant communities in the destination country maintain real andsymbolic connections to their home countries, while simultaneously developing ties
that bind them to the receiving country.This study proposes a twofold approach f 
or analyzing these ties. First, by means of secondary data analysis, this study looks at reported social and economic ties of Mexican migrants to both sending and receiving contexts. The analyses establish
patterns of settlement, circulation and return i
n Mexican migration flows andidentifies several of the key variables that influence decisions of migrants in followingone of these migration strategies. After establishing these patterns and influences, andconfirming the existence of a dynamic communit
y with constant trans
-
border
movement, the study turns to an analysis of transnational social fields observed in thePhoenix area. Through a series of interviews with Mexican migrants in the Phoenixarea, there emerges an image of transnational kinship gr
oups, transnational labor
circuits, and formation of a transnational community in which migrants have similarsocial and economic ties, as well as shared symbolic ties to the homeland and hostcommunities.
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
ABSTRACT
............................................................................................................................................
2
 
PART ONE
INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................
6
 T
HEORETICAL
V
IEWPOINT FOR THE
S
TUDY
.....................................................................................
6
T
RANSNATIONALISM AND
T
RANSNATIONAL
S
OCIAL
F
IELDS
..............................................................
7
R
ECENT
S
TUDIES OF
T
RANSNATIONAL
F
IELDS
...............................................................................10
 
I
MPACT
OF
T
RANSNATIONAL
T
IES
................................................................................................
.20
O
VERVIEW OF THE
C
URRENT
S
TUDY
.............................................................................................22
 
R
ESEARCH
H
YPOTHESES
...............................................................................................................23
 
PART TWO
SETTLEMENT, CIRCULA
TION AND RETURN: AN
ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL
AND ECONOMIC TIES
....................................................................................................................
25
 I
NTRODUCTION AND
A
PPROACH
...................................................................................................25
 
D
ATA AND
M
ETHODS
...................................................................................................................26
 
D
ESCRIPTIVE
A
NALYSIS
– B
ACKGROUND
C
HARACTERISTICS
...........................................................30
 
D
ESCRIPTIVE
A
NALYSIS
– S
OCIAL AND
E
CONOMIC
T
IES
................................................................
.34
R
EGRESSION
A
NALYSIS
– D
URATION OF
S
TAY
................................................................................40
 
R
EGRESSION
A
NALYSIS
– C
IRCULATION
.........................................................................................46
 
R
EGRESSION
A
NALYSIS
– A
CQUISITION OF
L
ONG
-
TERM
L
EGAL
S
TATUS
...........................................50
 
C
ONCLUSIONS
.............................................................................................................................52
 
I
NTRODUCTION
...........................................................................................................................53
 
S
OURCE OF
D
ATA
.........................................................................................................................55
 
T
HE
R
ECEIVING
C
ONTEXT
...........................................................................................................57
 
 Hispanics in the United States
.....................................................................................................................................
57 
 
 Mexican Migrants in the Phoenix Area
.......................................................................................................................
59
 T
HE
M
IGRATION
E
XPERIENCE
......................................................................................................61
 
 Motivation for Migration and Plan
s for Settlement, Circulation and Return
................................................................
.
61
 
Experiences in the Receiving Context 
...........................................................................................................................
68
 S
OCIAL AND
F
AMILY
T
IES
.............................................................................................................70
 
Ties to Mexico
.............................................................................................................................................................
70
 
Ties to the United States
..............................................................................................................................................
73
 E
CONOMIC
T
IES
...........................................................................................................................79
 
S
YMBOLIC
T
IES
............................................................................................................................80
 
T
RANSNATIONAL
S
OCIAL
F
IELDS
..................................................................................................86
 

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