Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

For imagination and love – The permanence of the Mexican father who fathers at a distance
by Sanchez, Marta, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012, 297; 3549576
Abstract (Summary)

In this dissertation I explore the lives of Mexican fathers on both sides of the México-U.S. border with attention to the fathering practices of U.S.-based fathers in the New Latino South (Kochhar, Suro, & Tafoya, 2005) who father at a distance of time and space from their children and spouses. In-depth interviews with fathers, mothers and children reveal that Mexican families create new ways of being a family in the "U.S.-México transnation" (Boehm, 2008) and work to ensure that the family remains a site of hope, courage, imagination and love. U.S.-based fathers embrace various dispositions, practices and strategies to be involved affectively with their children across borders, thus redefining the 'father as provider' construct. Cross-cutting themes include the desire to give children "un futuro" by providing them with a home and an education. Utilizing a Chicana feminist framework, I explore how fathers work within and beyond dominant ideologies to create libratory spaces. This meta-ideologizing (Sandoval, 2000) helps fathers reclaim their right to father, work, imagine and love. Implications for México include understanding that the father's contribution is much more than economic (Navarro, 2008); re-establishing local economies to stem migration flows; facilitating dialogue within schools to support children parented at a distance; and strengthening family, education and social policies to create a birth to university pipeline. The U.S. should reexamine federal immigration law with regards to family reunification, pathways to citizenship and support for safe and humane circular migration. A readjustment of U.S. foreign policy towards México is necessary in trade and security. In order to prevent the further destruction of local economies, free trade agreements that are more favorable to corporations than to the people of both nations must be amended. U.S. military aid that threatens México's sovereignty must be reconsidered. Research is needed in both countries to understand the pedagogical needs of the transnational child whose presence will increase as globalization continues to produce split-households (Glenn, 1983). Finally, the pedagogy of the Mexican immigrant father is one of imagination and love; this is an important pedagogy in times of social erasure of the family.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Noblit, George W.
Commitee: Carrillo, Juan F., Cervantes-Soon, Claudia C., Grumet, Madeleine, Hughes, Sherick A., Urrieta, Luis, Jr.
School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department: Education: Doctorate/Master's in Education
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Fathering, Immigrants, Latinos, Mexican fathers, Transnational families, U.S.-Mexico border
Publication Number: 3549576
ISBN: 978-1-267-86043-9
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