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The Preludes to Migration

Anticipation and Imaginings of Mexican Immigrant Adolescent Girls

Lilia Soto

This article explores the immigrant journeys of Mexican immigrant adolescent girls raised in transnational families. Based on interviews conducted with this young cohort I examine how they experienced migration long before they neared the United States-Mexico border. Using a transnational approach to migration and the intersections of gender and age as analytical categories, I highlight how Mexican immigrant adolescent girls are uniquely situated within their families so as to have a different set of experiences from men, women, and adolescent boys. Their stories reveal that before migration their lives were saturated, because of their parents' departures and visits, with anticipation and imaginings about Napa Valley, California, and with interruptions of migration. Their lives always seemed to be on the brink of migration. This also means that the very reason for their parents' migration—to better provide for their children—placed the children en route, as it were, to the United States.

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Nina Glick Schiller

Questioning the units of analysis of contemporary migration theory—the nation-state, the ethnic group, and the transnational community—that structure discussions of migration and development, I argue for a global perspective on migration. In deploying these units of analysis, current discourses about migration and development reflect a profound methodological nationalism that distorts present-day migration studies. The global perspective advocated in this article addresses the reproduction and movement of people and profits across national borders. Such a perspective places the debates about international migration and development and the contemporary polemics and policies on immigration, asylum, and global talent within the same analytical framework, allowing migration scholars to address the mutual constitution of the local and the global.

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Couples in the Global Margins

Sexuality and Marriage between Egyptian Men and Western Women

Nadeem Karkabi

This article examines relations between older Western women and younger Egyptian men in South Sinai, Egypt. Eschewing the label 'female sex tourism', it analyses the practices that these couples adopt in order to legitimate their relationships and further refers to alternative modifications of urfi marriages and polygenic relations. The article argues that these partnerships, as practised in the Sinai periphery, have come into existence in an effort to overcome changes caused by globalisation in the original cultures of these men and women and present alternatives to the otherwise difficult choices that they face in their mainstream societies.

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Halil Can

Building on a long-term, multi-sited ethnographic research project, this article illustrates and interprets the transformation processes and empowerment strategies pursued by an originally Zazaki-speaking, multigenerational Alevi family in the Turkish-German transnational context. The family, which includes a number of Alevi priests (seyyid or dede), hails from the Dersim4 region of eastern Anatolia, and their family biography is closely bound up with a traumatic mass murder and crime against humanity that local people call “Dersim 38“ or “Tertele.“ Against the background of this tragedy, the family experienced internal migration (through forced remigration and settlement) thirty years before its labor migration to Germany. This family case study accordingly examines migration as a multi-faceted process with plural roots and routes. The migration of people from Turkey neither begins nor ends with labor migration to Germany. Instead, it involves the continuous, nonlinear, and multidirectional movement of human beings, despite national border regimes and politics. As a result, we can speak of migration processes that are at once voluntary and forced, internal and external, national and transnational. 5 In this particular case, the family members, even the pioneer generation labor migrants who have since become shuttle migrants, maintain close relationships with Dersim even as they spend most of their lives in a metropolitan German city. At the same time, they confront moments of everyday in- and exclusion in this transnational migration space that define them as both insiders and out- siders. Keeping these asymmetrical attributions in mind, I examine the family's sociocultural, religious, and political practices and resources from a transna- tional perspective, paying close attention to their conceptualization of identity and belonging as well as their empowerment strategies.

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Migrantes y vida pública en Cuba

Estrategias transnacionales de ciudadanos cubanos residentes en Ecuador

Liudmila Morales Alfonso and Liosday Landaburo Sánchez

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: The article analyzes how the participation of migrants in Cuban public life has been reconfigured, starting with the process of updating the economic, political and social model that began in 2008. This group, which had been excluded from national public life through an intersection of official policies and discourses—which supported the viewpoint of migration without return, due to political causes, and an “us vs. them” opposition—now benefits from a Cuba that is more open to the world and consistent with transnational migration. Although the road to full citizenship continues to be full of obstacles, there are new opportunities for participation in public life, which the article measures from the integration of Cubans residing in Ecuador in the formal and informal economies to their maintenance of a migratory status in Cuba and the flow of information and communication with their native country.

Spanish abstract: El artículo analiza cómo se reconfigura la participación de los migrantes en la vida pública cubana, a partir del proceso de actualización del modelo económico, político y social que inició en 2008. Este grupo, que había sido excluido de la vida pública nacional por una conjunción entre políticas y discursos oficiales —que sustentó el imaginario de una migración sin retorno, por causas políticas, y de una oposición nosotros/ellos— se beneficia de una Cuba más abierta al mundo y consecuente con la migración transnacional. Aunque el camino hacia una ciudadanía plena continúe lleno de obstáculos, existen nuevas oportunidades de participación en la vida pública, que el artículo mide desde la inserción de cubanos residentes en Ecuador en la economía, formal e informal; el mantenimiento de un status migratorio en Cuba y el flujo de información y comunicación con su país natal.

French abstract: L’article analyse la façon dont la participation des migrants à la vie publique cubaine est reconfigurée, en commençant par la mise à jour du modèle économique, politique et social qui a débuté en 2008. Ce groupe, exclu de la vie publique nationale conjointement par les politiques et discours officiels - qui ont soutenu l’imaginaire d’une migration sans retour, en raison de causes politiques et d’une opposition nous / eux - bénéficie d’un Cuba plus ouvert au monde et compatible avec les migrations transnationales. Et bien que le chemin vers la pleine citoyenneté continue d’être semé d’obstacles, il existe de nouvelles possibilités de participation à la vie publique que l’article met en évidence, depuis l’insertion des Cubains résidant en Équateur dans l’économie, formelle et informelle ; le maintien d’un statut migratoire à Cuba et le flux d’informations et de communication avec leur pays natal.