Chapter 1 Discussion Questions and Suggested Activities

Chapter 1 Discussion Questions and Suggested Activities

Why Marriage and Migration

Discussion Questions

1.  What are the distant drivers encouraging Calakmuleños to migrate? In what ways do these drivers manifest in Calakmuleños’ lives?

2.  What is a repertoire? How did Calakmuleños’ repertoire shape their understanding of what migration could accomplish for them?

3.  How is globalization personal? How is globalization distant and concealed? In what ways can globalization be both and simultaneously personal and concealed?

Personal reflection

Do you see yourself as more of a traveler or an active stayer? Would you be willing to accompany family and friends to a foreign country with assurances of a much better income? If you see yourself as hesitant to migrate, what might influence you to do so?


Suggested Activities

1.  Before you begin reading the book, reflect on your familiarity with Mexico. Jot down all the personal connections you have to Mexico of which you are aware. Then, visit the “Dollar Street” feature on and explore the information there on Mexico. How do the site’s depictions of homes, families, kitchens, and toilets compare to your preconceptions? How doe the depictions compare with the description of Paulita and Jacobo’s home and family?

2. Search the internet for images of “globalization.” What information do those images convey? How does that information compare with the description of globalization offered in this chapter?

3. This chapter lists a number of places in the world that have a connection to men’s labor migration. Use the Google Scholar search engine to search the connection between “labor migration” and a country of interest to you. Review the search results and identify what kinds of labor migration seem to predominate in that country. Do men’s or women’s labor migration seem to be more common? What sorts of jobs do people travel to undertake? Have the kinds of jobs people travel for changed over time?

4. This chapter describes NAFTA’s impacts on rural Mexico. What impact did NAFTA have on U.S. agriculture? Visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website to examine the impact of trade agreements on U.S. farming. Then examine this website that breaks down the effects of NAFTA’s agricultural provisions by state. Which states are most affected by agricultural trade with Mexico?

Back to top