Accepted paper:

From indigenous village to transnational community: independent child migrants taking the lead

Authors:

Fina Carpena-Mendez (University of Gdansk)

Paper short abstract:

This paper analyzes the socio-cultural resources Mexican indigenous children drew upon in order to take the initiative in transmigration where there were no previous networks of support to provide knowledge and sustain the process, and how this process is articulated to the emerging migration industry.

Paper long abstract:

The international migration of Mexican indigenous communities that until recently were engaged in subsistence agriculture has been increasingly configured as a childhood and youth process. In the last decade, boys and girls in their teens have taken the lead in emerging patterns of circular migration across the US border in new migrant sending areas without previous experience in transnational migration. This paper analyzes the social and cultural resources children and youth drew upon and re-created in order to take the initiative in transmigration where there were no previous networks of support to provide knowledge and sustain the process. It examines how this process of independent child and youth migration has been articulated to the emerging commercialization of international migration or migration industry in the context of neoliberal globalism. By drawing on forms of self-organization in bandas children and youth have responded to unstable and rapidly changing everyday realities in the Mexican countryside through new forms of mobility, becoming key socio-political actors in their communities. We cannot understand contemporary forms of indigeneity in Mexico without considering children and youth as key subjects of historical transformation.

panel P012
Independent child migration in an interconnected world