Current Institutional Affiliation
Pro Tem Instructor, Anthropology, University Of Oregon

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2016
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Oregon
"Getting By": Resilience in One-and-a-Half Generation Immigrant Men Deported to Mexico

This ethnographic project explores men's resilience after forcible displacement—the everyday individual and collective responses to social and physical dislocation to try to attain modest social, economic, and psychological stability and wellbeing. It expands three areas of humanistic social science theory critical to understanding resilience in the context of forcible displacement: 1) structural violence and structural vulnerability, by attending to economic, political, and social structures that cross-cut deported men's historical and geographic trajectories; 2) kinship, through study of how deported men make family; and 3) gender, by examining expressions of masculinities on the streets and in domestic life. The men in this study emigrated from Mexico as children, lived for decades in the U.S., then were convicted of crimes and served prison sentences before being deported back to Mexico as "criminal alien" adults. In Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, the site of this research, they face ostracism as criminal outsiders and conspicuous pochos ("Americanized" Mexicans) and isolation from home and family in the U.S. This project is motivated by a concern for human vulnerability, suffering, and risk. Interest in responses and resistances to such vulnerabilities, or resilience, fosters examination of how individuals and collectives attempt to contest precarious conditions. By investigating deported men's grounded resilience strategies—attempts at some social, economic, and psychological wellbeing despite hardship—this research will better illuminate the vulnerabilities of forcible displacement and the everyday efforts to mitigate them.