Forced Migration and Accumulation by Dispossesion: A Suggested Model for Understanding Mexican Immigration

Graduation Year



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The phenomenon of migration is best viewed as a general dichotomy between voluntary and forced migration. The following study pertains to the latter....[and] is divided into four sections. Section I is an outline and critique of conventional theories of migration which include neoclassical/neoliberal theory, new economics of labor migration (NELM), segmented labor market theory, social capital theory and world systems analysis. Included in this section is also a review and defense of the recent reconceptualizations of forced migration. Section II develops the framework of capital logic that creates forced migration. As a nuanced contribution to World Systems analysis of migration, I will highlight three Marxian concepts that dialectically constitute forced migration: expanded reproduction, the global reserve army and accumulation by dispossession. Section III looks at the relevance of aforementioned concepts in modern and contemporary Mexican history. Section IV is an analysis of the in-depth interviews I undertook with eleven Mexican nationals in Bloomington-Normal. I will highlight specific aspects of their experiences in order to expose first hand the injustices and complexities of forced migration. I then offer concluding remarks and ideas for social change. I will emphasize not only that migration is a human right, but also that there should be a right not to migrate: that is, alternative development-development on people's own terms-is the necessary prescription to cease forced migration. Accordingly, I will bring attention to what migrants themselves affirm regarding what is to be done.



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