Dr. Oliveira named finalist for Outstanding Dissertation Award | Anthropology and Education | International & Transcultural Studies

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In the Department of International & Transcultural Studies

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Dr. Oliveira named finalist for Outstanding Dissertation Award

Dr. Gabrielle Marcelletti Rocha de Oliveira is a finalist of the Outstanding Dissertation Award given every year by the Council on Anthropology and Education to recognize the author of an outstanding dissertation recently completed in the field of anthropology and education. 

Dissertation Title: Transnational Care Constellations: Mexican Immigrant Mothers and their Children in Mexico and in New York City.

Abstract: The feminization of Mexican migration to the United States is increasing, and more mothers who migrate leave their children behind for long periods to be cared for by grandparents or relatives in Mexico. We know little about how transnational familial ties across the U.S. -Mexico border influence the educational aspirations and social trajectories of this group of children. This study asks how Mexican maternal migration has influenced the education, migration aspirations, and social opportunities of the children in Mexico, comparing these to their siblings who were brought over to America or who were born in the United States. These families, or what refer to “transnational care constellations” include the following types of members: New York based undocumented mothers; the children they brought to the U.S. (also undocumented); their U.S. born offspring (U.S. citizens); children they have left behind in Mexico; and children’s caregivers in Mexico. Drawing on ethnographic method as well as surveys I examine transnational caregiving practices among women with mixed-status children in New York and Mexico. The ethnographic core of my dissertation work tracked twenty transnational families who are split between Mexico and the U.S over a period of 18 months. My scholarship contributes new perspectives to studies of transnational migration and the intersections between sociology of migration, and anthropology of gender and education. The field of migration and education is fundamentally interdisciplinary, thus I use anthropological methods and theory to address questions that are usually addressed by sociologists and economists.