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Rocio Rosales: "Stagnant Immigrant Social Networks and Cycles of Exploitation"
October 21, 2013 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm | Rachel Carson College, Room 301
Based on over four years of ethnographic research among street vendors in Los Angeles and on interviews with family members of vendors and former vendors living in Mexico, Rocio Rosales examines the influence of a sending community and its social networks on migrant outcomes in the US. These social networks affect migration patterns, ease entry into the fruit vending business but also facilitate exploitation. Furthermore, these social networks do not always function as effective conduits of information because its members, due to feelings of shame or embarrassment, often fail to add to the existing body of knowledge. As a result, international migration patterns, job placement, and exploitative practices do not change or improve for subsequent migrants. This creates a cycle in which social networks become stagnant and successively fail to function as effective conduits of information and resources in ways that might help network members equally and in the aggregate.
Rocio Rosales is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She completed her Ph.D. in Sociology at UCLA in 2012 and received her A.B. in Sociology (cum laude) with a certificate in Latin American Studies from Princeton University. Her dissertation, “Hidden Economies in Public Spaces: The Fruit Vendors of Los Angeles,” examines the social and economic lives of a group of undocumented Latino street vendors. Her research interests include international migration, informal work, immigrant and ethnic economies, Latinos/as in the US, qualitative methods and urban ethnography. Her work has been funded by the American Philosophical Society (2011), John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation (2010), Ford Foundation (2005-2008), and the SSRC Mellon Mays Foundation (2003-2012). Her research appears in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and in Ethnic and Racial Studies (forthcoming).
Lecture presented by the UCSC Sociology Colloquium Series and the UCSC Center for Labor Studies.