Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, Central American Studies, California State University / Northridge

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2008
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill
Alternatives to Migration: Place-based Practices in El Salvador

This project explores an emerging trend among organizations and rural communities in El Salvador to construct alternative options to migration in response to social conditions arising from the high rate of emigration. Such grassroots and community-based groups practice and advocate for alternatives to migration in diverse ways, such as through the development of community leaders, the positive formation of youth, co-operative productive activities and entrepreneurial ventures, and awareness campaigns about human rights and dignity. This research will investigate how the collective practices of these groups and communities attempt to re-work dominant and state-supported discourses that frame migration as the best viable option for young Salvadorans, and how they contribute to processes of place-making through their work. Using ethnographic methods, this research asks about the ways particular discourses, strategies, and place-based practices and identities are employed by these groups to appeal to young Salvadorans who negotiate their engagement with them in relation to competing discourses and practices. This project contributes to theories of migration, place, and identity in social movements, as well as knowledge about the collective action and migration of people of El Salvador.