La vida jaibera: the gendered work and migration experiences of female guestworkers in the rural southeast Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Straut Eppsteiner, Holly K.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • Recruitment of female guestworkers by the U.S. seafood processing industry provides Mexican women with opportunities to support their families financially through legal, seasonal labor migration--but at the cost of family separation. Interviews with workers from two plants in the rural Southeast and two formers workers demonstrate that the separation of production and reproduction means that women must negotiate migration within gendered models of marriage and motherhood across borders. Their accounts indicate that family contexts interact with precarious legal status to shape women's migration experiences, possibilities for permanent settlement, and U.S. labor market opportunities. Despite classification as temporary nonimmigrants, I find that crab pickers, or jaiberas, use seasonal migration to the United States as a long-term strategy to support families in Mexico, and are held in temporary positions in both locations. Political and labor market contexts and family arrangements subject them systems of control that have important policy implications.
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  • In Copyright
  • Hagan, Jacqueline
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2014

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