Dimensiones simbólicas de la inmigración indocumentada. Rituales de paso de“norteños” y “norteñas” nahuas del sur de México hacia Estados Unidos
AbstractTo deal with their historic migration to the United States, the Nahua communities from Southern Mexico have recreated a symbolic universe by establishing new categories in their social system for the men and women participants in that process. This turns theminto norteños and norteñas (male and female "Northerners"), and includes them in the community scale of values as collective examples of success and progress. Like in other societies, among the Nahua, changes in status, whether in the biological cycle or in the social cycle (turning into an international worker and going to "the North") during a lifetime are sanctioned by rituals. This makes it possible to recognize the unauthorizedMexico-U.S. border crossing as a rite of passage, through which the actors acquire new attributes and values. To identify the symbolic construction of this experience and its implications in social practice, the article analyzes the ritual in its three classic phases: separation, liminality, and aggregation. For the Nahua case, the development of this process consists of the "farewell," when the migrants externalize certain agreements with their protectors, family and community; the "voyage," marked by marginalization, invisibility, transgression, and sacrifices; and the "reception," in which the initiate is integrated once again into the new context of clandestine immigration.
Copyright (c) 2010 Martha García
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