Migratory Timescapes: Experiences of Pausing, Waiting, and Inhabiting the Meanwhile of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Mexico
Date of Degree
Robert Courtney Smith
Jéssica Natalia Nájera Aguirre
Alexandra Délano Alonso
Inequality and Stratification | Migration Studies | Politics and Social Change
migration, immobility, refugees, time, inequality, Mexico, Central America
Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Mexico´s southern border with Guatemala, this dissertation provides insights into contemporary experiences of migration in Mexico by engaging with the notions of movement, control, and settlement from a critical perspective. I explore these experiences through the idea of migratory timescapes, defined as structural temporal-relational contexts in which migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers are socially embedded. In the case of this dissertation, I unpack three migratory timescapes which are situated in a regional context of growing displacement and increasingly restrictive migratory and asylum policies, what I call the block-and-wait system.
First, I introduce the idea of the Pause as moments and spaces where migrants can rest and heal their bodies, but also temporarily engage with others within a hub of concentrated resources. Pauses offer a glimpse into what social capital looks like during migratory journeys. Secondly, I describe how the Mexican asylum system has turned into a waiting regime and question how waiting, as a technique of domination results in a systematic denial of rights. The waiting regime operates through bureaucratic violence, composed by the imposition of delay, uncertainty, prolonged waiting and which is reinforced by a rhetoric of deservingness. Finally, chapter four investigates how migrants and asylum seekers actively inhabit and become socially engaged in spaces and communities that they consider, and wish to abandon as soon as possible, a process that I call inhabiting the meanwhile.
Gil Everaert, Isabel, "Migratory Timescapes: Experiences of Pausing, Waiting, and Inhabiting the Meanwhile of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Mexico" (2020). CUNY Academic Works.
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