Kinship ties of Mexican migrant women on the United States/Mexico border Article

Bastida, E. (2001). Kinship ties of Mexican migrant women on the United States/Mexico border . 32(4), 10.3138/jcfs.32.4.549

cited authors

  • Bastida, E

fiu authors


  • Kinship systems and the various types of social support they offer in reducing the short-term costs of settlement in the country of destination have generated a great deal of interest during the last two decades. This study examines the kinship networks of recent Mexican immigrant women to the eastern end of the Texas/Mexico (The Gulf Coast) border. For purposes of the present study kinship networks are conceptualized as linking, otherwise, individual economic actors seeking social mobility in the United States, to stable social structures alone, both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. Attention is given to the resources that flow across linkages and their consequences for the success or failure of the migration process. Participant observation and in-depth interviews are used in studying network ties of recent Mexican immigrant women. Forty-four complete dyads consisting of twenty-two immigrant women and at least one kin participated in the study during a two-year period. Whenever possible additional kin members were also interviewed. Findings reported here indicate that binational networks operate on both sides of the border offering protection to newcomers, mainly undocumented workers, and facilitating their incorporation into the informal economic sector of the border economy. Moreover, for many immigrant women both sending and receiving networks were found within the country of origin. Reasons other than economic need were found to be important to the migration process. Results point to the socioeconomic diversity of the Mexican women who are migrating to the U.S. Mexico border area.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


  • 32


  • 4