Date of Award

Spring 5-23-2021

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies

First Advisor

Marcelo Borges

Language

English

Abstract

The growing share of women migrating for reasons of work—a trend conceptualized as the feminization of labor migration—has increasingly become a matter of interest in migration studies. This paper seeks to visibilize Bolivian migrant women as social and political actors by shedding light on their labor migration experiences in Argentina. Through content analyses of Argentine labor and immigration legislation; newspaper articles; and Facebook posts from prominent migrant organizations in Argentina, I investigate Bolivian migrant women’s invisibility, their resistance to this invisibility, and whether their resistance empowers them as women. Specifically, I address both the principal macro-level – exclusionary laws and labor market segmentation on the basis of myths— and micro-level factors— the unique nature of their work and gendered family dynamics—that contribute to Bolivian migrant women’s invisibility. However, on both levels, invisibility is resisted. In addition to quotidian strategies of survival, migrant women resist, negotiate and endure invisibilization through collective action. Applying three fundamental collective action processes identified in movement literature—political opportunity, mobilization resources, and framing structures— I analyze the resistance of five migrant feminist organizations based in Buenos Aires. I find that at the individual level, many Bolivian migrant women feel empowered as a result of their collective resistance to the invisibility they face as migrant women in Argentina.

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