Connecting People Across Cultures and Traditions
Edited by Helle Porsdam
Chapter 9: Human Rights as Lived Experience: Kinship, Fictive Kinship, and Human Rights Among Trans-national Migrants
JOBNAME: Helle Porsdam PAGE: 1 SESS: 11 OUTPUT: Mon Jan 23 12:40:01 2012 9. Human rights as lived experience: kinship, ﬁctive kinship, and human rights among trans-national migrants Jay M. Winter This chapter describes the downward derogation of human rights discourse and activity in a period when national and state political leaders have avoided the subject of undocumented immigration like the plague. It is part of a broader study of human rights as syncretic, the product of social processes by and large generated from below, through civil society rather than through the state or the courts.1 Particularly vital roles are played in the generation of rights talk and rights claims today by people bonded together by kinship, ﬁctive kinship and communal ties. Here we study links between migrants and remaining residents in Tlaxcala, Mexico and their families and friends in New Haven, Connecticut. My central claim is that it is in the context of this migratory ﬂow that human rights discourses have emerged. Here the focus is on the linkage between rights talk and lived experience, derived from ﬁeld work on Mexican migration, documented and undocumented, between the state of Tlaxcala and New Haven, Connecticut. 1 I am grateful to the Hewlett Foundation and Yale University for generous funding of this project, which I directed with Gus Ranis. Together with my co-investigator Gustavo Verduzco of the Colegio de Mexico, we were able to frame this study, and with the research assistance of Nadia Nehls and Ana Minian, we...
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