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Grant number: FA-50220-04

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FA-50220-04

Lynn Stephen
University of Oregon (Eugene, OR 97403-5219)

Cultural Difference and Globalization: Mexican Indigenous Migrants in the United States and Mexico

This project grows out of four years of fieldwork in southern Mexico and the state of Oregon exploring how Mixtec and Zapotec indigenous Mexican migrants use their multi-layered identities, cultures, and transnational living experiences to organize for cultural and political recognition. My proposed book about reinforcement of cultural differences in response to transnational migration and globalization will help throw light on contemporary processes of ethnic, national, and local identity formation, definitions of citizenship, and models for achieving cultural and political recognition in diverse nations such as the U.S. and Mexico. Importantly, the social and political actions of indigenous migrants challenge predictions that processes of cultural and economic globalization will result in homogeneity. Moreover, the idea that processes of globalization are top-down is called into question. The two groups examined in this project are: (a) migrants who have come from the Mixtec region of Oaxaca and currently reside in the state of Oregon to work in commercial agriculture and other sectors and are involved in a struggle for cultural recognition, labor rights, and support for their transnational organizations and (b) Zapotec migrants who lived in northern Mexico and California and have returned to their community in rural Oaxaca to form weaving cooperatives in an attempt to gain political and cultural rights in their community and in the global market as independent artisans. This project addresses two primary debates in the humanities. The first is about how globalization affects expressions of cultural difference. The second is on the relationship between migration and processes of place and trans-place forms of ethnic identity construction. More narrowly, this project will help me deepen my scholarly engagement with indigenous Mexican migration and identity formation.

Project fields:
Anthropology

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 3/31/2006