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Migration-Trust Networks

Social Cohesion in Mexican US-Bound Emigration

Nadia Yamel Flores-Yeffal

Publication Year: 2013

In an important new application of sociological theories, Nadia Y. Flores-Yeffal offers fresh insights into the ways in which social networks function among immigrants who arrive in the United States from Mexico without legal documentation. She asks and examines important questions about the commonalities and differences in networks for this group compared with other immigrants, and she identifies “trust” as a major component of networking among those who have little if any legal protection.

Revealing the complexities behind social networks of international migration, Migration-Trust Networks: Social Cohesion in Mexican US-Bound Emigration provides an empirical and theoretical analysis of how social networks of international migration operate in the transnational context. Further, the book clarifies how networking creates chain migration effects observable throughout history.

Flores-Yeffal’s study extends existing social network theories, providing a more detailed description of the social micro- and macrodynamics underlying the development and expansion of social networks used by undocumented Mexicans to migrate and integrate within the United States, with trust relationships as the basis of those networks. In addition, it incorporates a transnational approach in which the migrant’s place of origin, whether rural or urban, becomes an important variable. Migration-Trust Networks encapsulates the new realities of undocumented migration from Latin America and contributes to the academic discourse on international migration, advancing the study of social networks of migration and of social networks in general.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

First I would like to thank all the respondents in Mexico, El Salvador, and the United States who opened their warm homes to me and the members of my team, allowed me to investigate their lives, and who provided their life stories with no hesitation. ...

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pp. xiii-xxii

About a month before I began writing this book, I was driving my children to school one morning and listening to the Spanishlanguage radio program “La Preciosa,” on 103.1 FM in Bryan and College Station, Texas.1 The talk-show host, “El Genio Lucas,” broadcasted a phone call he received from someone looking for a friend. ...

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Chapter One: Migration-Trust Networks

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pp. 1-40

As described in the opening anecdote of the introduction, a complete stranger helped one migrant named José when he first arrived to the United States. The stranger gave him clothes, food, a place to stay, and help finding a job. Years later, José searched for this stranger, named “Pancho,” through a radio announcement, but he could not even provide Pancho’s last name. ...

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Chapter Two: The Social and Contextual Components of Migration-Trust Networks

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pp. 41-66

This book extends the concept of Tilly (2005) in his work, Trust and Rule, where he states, “Trust Networks consist of ramified interpersonal connections within which people set valued, consequential, long term resources and enterprises at risk to the malfeasance of others” (5). ...

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Chapter Three: “Hoy por mí, Mañana por ti”: Social Capital Shared via Migration-Trust Networks

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pp. 67-86

Martin, who migrated from a medium-sized town and was interviewed in a small town in Indiana, was sharing a house with six other migrants who were neither related to him by kin nor by friendship; he met them shortly after arriving to the United States. ...

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Chapter Four: Expanding Networks

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pp. 87-108

After arriving with a tourist visa in San Francisco, Carlos, who was from a city in Guanajuato, was able to find a job in a Mexican restaurant washing dishes. Upon arrival he stayed with his brother, who was married and had two kids. After a month of staying at his brother’s place Carlos began to have problems because his sister-in-law complained of the lack of privacy ...

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Chapter Five: Migration-Trust Networks at the Macro Level

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pp. 109-132

Macro social forces contribute to the creation, maintenance, and perpetuation of Migration-Trust Networks (MTNs). In most cases, such forces take place in a transnational context; that is, the connection between the social relations at the place of origin and those at the place of destination. The MTNs perform at multiple levels. ...

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Chapter Six: Migration-Trust Networks: Expanding Current Theory

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pp. 133-156

Thus far, I have shared ethnographic evidence of how social networks of migration can develop from rural and urban places of origin and how they function. Such networks are Migration-Trust Networks, and they are the focus of this study. I theorize on how such networks function when a large number of the network participants lack legal documentation. ...

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Chapter Seven: Advantages and Disadvantages of Migration-Trust Networks

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pp. 157-170

Migration-Trust Networks, as described in this book, provide both advantages and disadvantages to their members at the places of origin and destination. For those who migrate, especially if it is their first time, membership in an MTN can provide everything they need for their documented or undocumented journey, ...

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Chapter Eight: Conclusion and Policy Recommendations

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pp. 171-186

In this book, I have attempted to provide from my own observations a conceptual framework that scholars of international migration can utilize to better understand the functionality of social networks of international migration, especially when network participants are largely undocumented, as in the case of the current Mexican migration flow to the United States. ...


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pp. 187-194


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pp. 195-200

E-ISBN-13: 9781603449632
E-ISBN-10: 1603449639
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603448260

Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 4 b&w photos. 5 figs. 2 tables. Bib. Index.
Publication Year: 2013