To Emigrate or Not to Emigrate: A Sociocultural Understanding of Mexican Professionals’ Logic of (Im)mobility
Languishing labor market conditions throughout Latin America, along with pull factors in countries such as the United States, point to continued and increased skilled migration from Latin America. The outflow of well-educated Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Peruvians, Venezuelans, Brazilians, and Mexicans in search of better incomes and career opportunities is well noted. Yet, there exists important qualitative differences in terms of who does—and, important in this context, who does not—emigrate and why? Drawing on interview data with Mexican professionals in Mexico City, in this article I suggest that social network theory is insufficient for understanding skilled migration from Mexico. Focusing on those who stay behind, I offer instead a sociocultural framework; one that privileges individuals’ own discursive renderings and one that acknowledges that individuals’ decisions not to migrate are rooted in class-based dispositions, cultural beliefs, and social practices.
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