Marriage after Migration: An Ethnography of Money, Romance, and Gender in Globalizing Mexico
(Oxford University Press, 2019) 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 hold their families together?
In the book, Nora Haenn
draws on twenty-five years of experience in Calakmul, on Mexico’s southern border, to relate the pleasures and dangers driving labor migration. With their men abroad, women find new romance, unimagined wealth, and, for some, relief from constraining gender roles. But for these women migration’s dangers are just as real: a return to poverty, pressure to live up to impossible standards, emotional betrayal, divorce. When men return home with a drinking problem, wives can face life-threatening domestic violence.
Marriage after Migration shows how globalization changes people but also how marginalized people, including indigenous people, drive globalization. By following the women’s journeys, readers go beneath the surface of globalization to see its roots in people’s most intimate relationships.
Pamela Fuentes is an Assistant Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Pace University, NYC campus.