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Latino/a Mobility in California History

Genevieve Carpio, Javier Cienfuegos, Ivonne Gonzalez, Karen Lazcano, Katherine Lee Berry, Joshua Mandell, Christofer Rodelo, Alfonso Toro, Authors
Digital Reviews, page 5 of 7

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Bodies and Mobility: Migrant Women In Agriculture by Karen Lazcano


I wanted to explore the relation between labor and mobility for migrant women in the agriculture industry. Throughout the course, we have explored the theme of mobility in terms of transportation, but also through the use of bodies. We have seen the migrant body be used as a way to restrict mobility. Through the use of fear, the migrant body was made into a vessel for pathogens as Natalia Molina explains in her book, Fit to be Citizens? Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939. I wanted to explore migrant women’s bodies in in terms of the idea of mobility. Specifically, I was interested in how agriculture facilitates or limits mobility for women of migrant communities. Through my initial research, I came across the theme of sexual violence as a way to police the bodies and agency of migrant women. My digital review will cover the manner through which the selected sources have covered this topic from the early 2000’s to today.

The sources I chose to feature provide a deeper understanding of the narratives of affected women, motives behind their assaults, and ways through which policy negatively affects aggressors or the migrant women. Violacion de Un Sueño is a film that reports rape and assault of immigrant women in California’s Central Valley and throughout the country. This source uses video as a form of media to share information concerning this issue through investigative journalism and personal narratives. I also used a Human Rights Watch report as as a source. The report, Cultivating Vulnerability, gives a very detailed insight through the use of personal stories, studies, statistics, etc. The final source I chose to profile was a digital exhibit done by the Latino History Project. The exhibit have a better understanding of how past mobilities have created those of the present.

I chose to profile these sites because I wanted to explore the intersection between relaying information and seeking change. I wanted to understand the stories of the women and how factors such as economic dependency and migratory status tie in with limitations of their mobility through the actual act of moving and how policy can also affect that mobility.

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