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The value, costs, and meaning of transnational migration in rural Oaxaca, Mexico

By Jeffrey Cohen, Bernardo Rios and Lise Byars

Abstract

Rural Oaxacan migrants are defined as quintessential transnational movers, people who access rich social networks as they move be-tween rural hometowns in southern Mexico and the urban centers of southern California. The social and cultural ties that characterize Oaxacan movers are critical to successful migrations, lead to jobs and create a sense of belonging and shared identity. Nevertheless, migration has socio-cultural, economic and psychological costs. To move the discussion away from a framework that emphasizes the positive transnational qualities of movement we focus on the costs of migration for Oaxacans from the state’s central valleys and Sierra regions.Transnationalism; identity; households; Mexico

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