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Marriage After Migration

An Ethnography of Money, Romance, and Gender in Globalizing Mexico

Nora Haenn

Publication Date - 01 November 2019

ISBN: 9780190056018

176 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

This compelling ethnographic study shows how migration transformed gender roles in an indigenous Mexican community and how its women shaped globalization without ever leaving home


Marriage After Migration tells the stories of five women in rural Mexico, each navigating the tricky terrain that is men's international migration. With their husbands and sons working in the United States, will the women be able to hold their families together? The women's lives reveal how marginalized people--including indigenous people--drive globalization. Their journeys show how globalization goes beyond economics to affect the underpinnings of a society and people's most intimate relationships. Author Nora Haenn illuminates dynamics otherwise overlooked in debates about globalization and migration. In relating how migration changes families and rewrites gender roles, Haenn draws upon twenty-five years of experience in Mexico. Her engaging writing style crystalizes for students from all backgrounds what it means not to move.

Marriage After Migration is a volume in the series ISSUES OF GLOBALIZATION: CASE STUDIES IN CONTEMPORARY ANTHROPOLOGY, which examines the experiences of individual communities in our contemporary world. Each volume offers a brief and engaging exploration of a particular issue arising from globalization and its cultural, political, and economic effects on certain peoples or groups.

About the Author(s)

Nora Haenn is Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at North Carolina State University.


"Through rich and highly readable ethnographic narratives, Haenn explores the subjective experiences of migration and its varying impact on the marital relationships of men and women in the Mexican region of Calakmul, Yucatan. The lives of these five women open a window of understanding about both the opportunities and disadvantages of migration, about changing Yucatecan gender roles and ideologies, about household and family structures, and about intimacy and economics. Haenn skillfully delineates the impact of a global process at the local level and of the interconnections between mobility and immobility."--Caroline B. Brettell, Southern Methodist University

"This compelling ethnography invites readers into the lives of southern Mexican women as they work to keep their communities and families together when their spouses migrate abroad. Not merely 'left behind,' these women help maintain and reproduce a globalized labor force even as they find their own lives tightly constrained by gender, kin relations, and socioeconomic marginalization. Haenn's keen ethnographic eye and accessible prose will engage scholars, students, and interested readers alike in this rich account of a dimension of globalization that is rarely told."--Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz, Loyola University Chicago

"Marriage After Migration provides an approachable look into the economic and social issues that the women of Calakmul are facing in today's global world. Haenn's writing style makes this ethnography fun to read while providing important theoretical insights into anthropological theory and gender studies."--Nobuko Adachi, Illinois State University

Table of Contents


    Chapter 1: Why Marriage and Migration
    Chapter 2: A Very Brief History of Globalized Calakmul
    Chapter 3: Elvia: Marriage before Migration
    Chapter 4: Selena: The Model Wife
    Chapter 5: Aurora: The Pleasure-Seeking Wife
    Chapter 6: Rosario: Coping with a Husband's Return
    Chapter 7: Berta: Healing Families
    Chapter 8: Bringing it All Home

    Works Cited

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