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Living the Chilean dream? Bolivian migrants’ incorporation in the space of economic citizenship

Ryburn, Megan (2016) Living the Chilean dream? Bolivian migrants’ incorporation in the space of economic citizenship. Geoforum, 76. pp. 48-58. ISSN 0016-7185

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.08.006


As with most contexts of South-South migration, the Bolivian-Chilean case remains severely under-researched. Responding to this paucity of research, this paper addresses Bolivian migrants’ inclusions in and exclusions from economic citizenship in Chile. Conceptually, the paper calls for a holistic and spatially aware approach to comprehending migration and citizenship, proposing the overarching conceptual framework of interacting transnational social spaces of citizenship representing its legal, political, social, and economic dimensions. It then focuses particularly on the transnational social space of economic citizenship, using this conceptual approach as a means to bring into better dialogue research on the migrant division of labour, precarious employment, lab our exploitation, financial exclusion, and migrant citizenship practices. The analytical potential of the conceptual framework is explored through examining the specific geographies of the Bolivian-Chilean space of economic citizenship to reveal the reality of what is increasingly being referred to as the ‘Chilean dream’. Drawing on nine months of multi-sited ethnography and 76 semi-structured interviews, the paper addresses migrants’ economic situation in Bolivia before examining their changes in circumstances following migration to Chile, looking particular at the migrant labour niches of wholesale clothing retail, agriculture, and domestic labour. It explores the structural factors leading to economic marginalisation in Bolivia and labour exploitation in Chile. Additionally, it analyses the practices in which migrants may engage to challenge their exclusion from economic citizenship, and the role that migrant organisations play in encouraging, and at times constraining, such practices.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 15:24
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2024 17:06
Funders: Society of Latin American Studies

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