Crisis and Migration: Strategies and Networks used by Migrants to Face the Global Crisis

TitleCrisis and Migration: Strategies and Networks used by Migrants to Face the Global Crisis
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Molina y Vedia del Castillo, S. I., and I. H. Muñoz
Affiliation (1st Author)IAMRC National Autonomous University of Mexico
Section or WGCommunity Communication Section
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodeCoCF1a
Slot Code (Keyword)CoCF1a
Time of Session9:00-10:30
Session Title(En-)Countering Crisis
Submission ID5489

This study’s theoretical focus is modelled after Luhman’s systems theory and employs a qualitative methodology based on ethnography (Rampoldi-Hnilo, Marcus, Höflich and Hartman) and netnography (Kozinets). The ethnographic approach tookinto account life stories (Santamarina, Marinas) and in-depth interviews (Alonso);netnographic data was obtained through electronic interviews and the consultation of various websites.  The global crisis initiated circa 2008, as in the case of other crises, is driving changes that are occuring beyond the decisions taken in the great centers of power and decision making. These changes, present in the ways specific communities perceive and face the crisis, imply novel networks and forms of participation. This paper observesthe changes produced by the global crisis on participation strategies and the construction of communication networks in a specific social sector, that of undocumented migrants. Undocumented migrants experience the crisis in the same manner that the rest of the population does,  but are more vulnerable toitbecausetheydo nothaverights in the countries where they are located. However, this very condition of indefension has forced them to search for alternatives by reinforcing and strengthening their communication and participation networks. The object of this investigation is how undocumented Latin American migrants in the United States and Mexico respond to the global crisis in terms of communication, participation, and organization. The research focuses on three cases: the first is centered on how the crisis hasaffectedrelationshipswithin a family of illegal immigrants in the United States; the second observes the reaction of a group of undocumented university studentsto the approval of Arizona’sSB1070 anti-immigrant law;  the third case focuses on how migrants and their families have reorganized themselves as a result of said crisis.  Analyzed together, these three cases reveal that migrants reacted to the crisis by strengthening their participation and establishing alternative, lateral, and emergent bonds, finding solutions to their problems that are independent from the policies that have been set by governments and States.

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