Making Ends Meet: Income-Generating Strategies among Mexican Immigrants

Making Ends Meet: Income-Generating Strategies among Mexican Immigrants

Making Ends Meet: Income-Generating Strategies among Mexican Immigrants

Making Ends Meet: Income-Generating Strategies among Mexican Immigrants

Synopsis

Using ethnographic interviews, Sarmiento studies how globalization affects ordinary Mexican American immigrants, shaping their families and daily lives. Even as families are divided by borders, they try to remain cohesive units. Globalization challenges immigrants to restructure their families, gender roles, and even their political boundaries. The unstable working conditions of immigrant men are decisive for the form in which families organize their income-generating strategies. However, women are key to the family economy in that they subsidize low wages through paid and unpaid work on both sides of the border.

Excerpt

Writing this introduction has deep personal meaning for me. It gives me the opportunity to express my enormous respect regarding a project with which I am very familiar, by way of my life-long relationship with the author. Therefore, I must disclose that my reflections are based on the perpetual dialog shared by the author and I, which has been the cornerstone of our mutual evolvement in the fields of social science and education.

According to Adolfo Sanchez Vázquez, in his book: Philosophy and Circumstances, “the work is irreducible to the individual existence of its creator, due to the presence of society, age, class, tradition,… elements that transcend the individual” and are reflected in her work.

Without a doubt, Socorro, the academic brings a particular sensitivity to her work. Making use of participant observation and indepth interviewing she brings to life complex concepts to the basic problems faced by migrant families, who must seek their daily bread in distant places, whether in Mexico or the United States, in order to assure the survival of their families.

I have always believed that the intrinsic value of a study lies in the diverse paths a researcher can take in order to explore the subject in depth. In her work: “Making Ends Meet, Income-generating Strategies Among Mexican Immigrants”, Socorro Torres Sarmiento not only invites us to reflect upon and analyze the migrant phenomenon, she then goes beyond the level of abstract, cold, and sometimes dense theory, to immerse us in the “small world”, the human world of feelings and daily challenges faced by immigrant Tzintzuntzeño families.

Socorro transforms participant observation and interviews (among other qualitative ethnographic research techniques) into an art form. She applies solid investigative methodology, wherein she manages to combine complex theoretical concepts with purified procedural . . .

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