Rocio Rosales: “Stagnant Immigrant Social Networks and Cycles of Exploitation”
Monday, October 21, 2013, 12:30-2:00 pm
301 College 8, UC Santa Cruz
Free and open to the public
Based on over four years of ethnographic research among street vendors in Los Angeles and on interviews with family members of vendors and former vendors living in Mexico, Rocio Rosales examines the influence of a sending community and its social networks on migrant outcomes in the US. These social networks affect migration patterns, ease entry into the fruit vending business but also facilitate exploitation. Furthermore, these social networks do not always function as effective conduits of information because its members, due to feelings of shame or embarrassment, often fail to add to the existing body of knowledge. As a result, international migration patterns, job placement, and exploitative practices do not change or improve for subsequent migrants. This creates a cycle in which social networks become stagnant and successively fail to function as effective conduits of information and resources in ways that might help network members equally and in the aggregate.