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A Story Told Two Ways: Exploring the Intersectionality Between the Archaeological Record and Social Context of Undocumented Female Migrants

Author(s): Anna Forringer-Beal ; Jason De León ; Polina Hristova

Year: 2015

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Summary

The number of undocumented women crossing from Mexico into the United States has been increasing since the 1980s, leading to a steady upsurge in studies focused on the experiences and strategies of this subpopulation of migrants. Much of the discourse thus far has been focused on the social contexts of female migrants, that is their interpersonal and informational networks which influence their experience and survival strategies while crossing. In this poster we investigate how these social conditions during crossing do or do not map onto the material culture used and discarded by women migrants crossing the Arizona desert. Part of our analysis includes juxtaposing recorded narratives of female border crossers with gendered artifacts collected by the Undocumented Migration Project. Specifically, we discuss how women are underrepresented in the overall archaeological record and yet are traceable through the examination of intrinsically feminine artifacts, such as feminine hygiene products, bras, etc., and microfacts (i.e., small and often-fragmented artifacts that remain after migrant sites have been cleared). We posit that some gendered forms of migration-specific capital are visible in the archaeological record.

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A Story Told Two Ways: Exploring the Intersectionality Between the Archaeological Record and Social Context of Undocumented Female Migrants. Anna Forringer-Beal, Polina Hristova, Jason De León. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397938)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America