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León Himmelstine, Carmen Guadalupe .pdf (7.62 MB)

The linkages between social protection and migration: a case study of Oportunidades and migration in Oaxaca, Mexico

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posted on 2023-06-09, 08:14 authored by Carmen Guadalupe León Himmelstine
This research encompasses the fields of social protection and migration through an empirical study of the Mexican conditional cash-transfer (CCT) programme, Oportunidades, in two indigenous locations. The thesis looks at the way(s) in which Oportunidades and migration, both international and domestic, influence each other. It focuses on the decision to migrate of individuals – in particular of former and current beneficiaries of the programme – and offers a methodological approach that is different to previous studies on this topic. The thesis employs both qualitative and ethnographic data on the mutual effects of CCTs and migration through multi-sited research covering the high region of the Mixes in Oaxaca, Oaxaca City and Mexico City, and in California, USA. The results show that: - the outcome of the influence of Oportunidades on the decision to migrate is very dependent on contextual variables, mainly the migration situation in each village, the social and cultural norms around the purpose and meaning of migration, and the circumstances of beneficiaries’ households. The outcome of Oportunidades was mediated by what the individual household and community considered as the means to achieve social mobility, which differed across the two main localities of study; - the allocation of remittances, both international and internal, had an influence not only on the households but also on the norms and values of the society more broadly, through the annual cargos or local-council elections and the aspirations of beneficiaries; and finally that - the transition from more years of education to skilled jobs, as expected by Oportunidades, is not straightforward. This thesis explores how these transitions take place in reality and the different meanings and paths to social mobility they have for beneficiaries.


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  • doctoral

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  • eng


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