The Migrant Passage: Clandestine Journeys from Central America

The Migrant Passage: Clandestine Journeys from Central America

by Noelle Kateri Brigden


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At the crossroads between international relations and anthropology, The Migrant Passage analyzes how people from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala navigate the dangerous and uncertain clandestine journey across Mexico to the United States. However much advance planning they do, they survive the journey through improvisation. Central American migrants improvise upon social roles and physical objects, leveraging them for new purposes along the way. Over time, the accumulation of individual journeys has cut a path across the socioeconomic and political landscape of Mexico, generating a social and material infrastructure that guides future passages and complicates borders.

Tracing the survival strategies of migrants during the journey to the North, The Migrant Passage shows how their mobility reshapes the social landscape of Mexico, and the book explores the implications for the future of sovereignty and the nation-state. To trace the continuous renewal of the transit corridor, Noelle Brigden draws upon over two years of in-depth, multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork along human smuggling routes from Central America across Mexico and into the United States. In so doing, she shows the value of disciplinary and methodological border crossing between international relations and anthropology, to understand the relationships between human security, international borders, and clandestine transnationalism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501730559
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 12/15/2018
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 483,305
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Noelle Brigden is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Marquette University.

Table of Contents

1. The Opening Scene: A Journey Begins
2. The Plot: Migration Stories Take Shape
3. The Cast of Characters: Actors and Their Relationships En Route
4. The Performance: Migrant Scripts and Roles
5. The Stage: Mobile Images and Props
6. A Tragedy: Conclusions and Implications

What People are Saying About This

Susan Bibler Coutin

"Noelle Brigden has produced the sort of book I have long thought should be written—an insightful account of the ways migrants navigate their identities as they travel to the United States. Brigden fills in unknown spaces, spaces of uncertainty, oases of previously untapped information."

David Spener

"The Migrant Passage is an excellent ethnographic work, sure to be a major contribution to the literature on international migration. Noelle Brigden vividly details the lived experiences of migrants transiting Mexico towards the United States with nuanced, non-sensationalist accounts."

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