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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Family in the Borderlands/la Frontera: Transnational Narratives of Mexican Migrant Parents and their Young Children
by Carpenter, Kezia, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2013, 397; 3573722
Abstract (Summary)

This bi-national narrative inquiry explores the transnational family life of four migrant families raising young children in both the United States and Mexico. Member checks were conducted with seven additional families recruited at the same New York-based early childhood program. The thematic and dialogical narrative analyses of the families' stories revealed their experiences of transnational family life, including the cooperative transnational care of children, and the strategies the families established to cope with ambiguous losses associated with family separation and undocumented migration.

This study's findings highlight the paradoxical nature of the Mexican transnational family experience or the borderlands/la frontera (AnzaldĂșa, 1987) in which it exists. In order to acknowledge the complex nature of this collective life experience, practitioners should consider the role national boundaries play in defining "family" and take a family resiliency approach that invites exploration of the risk and protective factors that comprise the family's separate and together existence on both sides of the border. Interdisciplinary studies of life narratives need to take a dialogical lens to recognize the synthesis-making work of narratives and the inherent tensions that this process entails, especially in the case of transitional life narratives. Ultimately, recommendations for researchers and practitioners are made that build upon emerging best practices for transnational social work, including a transnational family narrative framework.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Voparil, Chris, Fontes, Lisa
Commitee: Armitage, Shelley
School: Union Institute and University
Department: Humanities and Society
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Early childhood education, Individual & family studies, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Borderlands, Families, Immigration, Mexican, Narrative inquiry, Resiliency, Transnational families
Publication Number: 3573722
ISBN: 978-1-303-44771-6
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