New Books Network

Ulla Berg

Mobile Selves

Race, Migration, and Belonging in Peru and the U.S.

NYU Press 2015

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in AnthropologyNew Books in Latin American StudiesNew Books in Latino StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network January 18, 2016 David-James Gonzales

Ulla Berg’s new book Mobile Selves: Race, Migration, and Belonging in Peru and the U.S. (New York University Press, 2015) highlights the deeply historical...

Ulla Berg’s new book Mobile Selves: Race, Migration, and Belonging in Peru and the U.S. (New York University Press, 2015) highlights the deeply historical and central role of migration as a strategy for social mobility, as well as its affect on the formation of identity, in the lived experiences of migrants from the central highlands of Peru. Documenting the aspirational, material, and moral forces that undergird the decision to enter the transnational labor stream, Dr. Berg examines the barriers to and “transgressiveness of Andean mobility.” With the detail of a skilled ethnographer, Berg follows her subjects from the rural communities of the Mantaro Valley to the Peruvian urban centers of Lima and Huancayo, and finally, to U.S. destinations in Miami, Washington, D.C., and Patterson, N.J. Throughout this process, Berg argues that Andean migrants continually refashion themselves as modern and cosmopolitan as they seek to maintain connections to home while overcoming the obstacles of rural poverty, racialization, and government surveillance.