This dissertation generates a broader qualitative and quantitative profile of Peru's middle class. It examines an unstudied group of Peruvian immigrants living in the greater New York City area, who are largely of middle-class origins, as are their families who remain behind in Peru. It analyzes immigrants and non-immigrants' lifestyles, changes in family dynamics that occur as a consequence of emigration of one family member, and the effect of remittances on middle-class lifestyles, identity, and experience at home. A close analysis of participants' life-styles and interactions provides conclusions about what defines Peruvian middle class status, and the factors that shape an immigrant's decision to migrate and pursue remittances. By closely examining immigrants from Lima now living in the greater New York area, and their economic, social, and cultural ties to their households back in Peru, I examine remittances as the nexus linking immigrants to their families that are now redefined by a more distant relationship. As social ties are commodified, the relationships between immigrants and non-immigrants prioritize decisions about money, including its production, transmission, reception, and distribution. Consequently, family structure often shifts to reflect a new priority on investment projects for the future over family reunification. By researching immigration and remittances, I analyze this shift in middle-class Peruvian family structure and its impact on social class, identity, and even plans for future emigration. This dissertation also refocuses the analytical lens on the uniquely middle-class origins of Peru's immigrants, challenging scholarly and popular assumptions about immigration that portray poverty eradication and reduction as the primary reason for migration.
Keywords: Transnational Peruvian Immigration, Peruvian Middle Class, Peruvian Remittances.
|Advisor:||Gauss, Susan M.|
|Commitee:||Acosta-Belen, Edna, Bose, Christine E.|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|Department:||Spanish-Latin American and Caribbean Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Latin American Studies|
|Keywords:||Families, Middle class, Peru, Remittances, Transnational Peruvian immigration|
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