UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Between worlds : online transnationalism of highly skilled Mexicans in Vancouver Cervantes Macías, María Esther


This thesis examines the ways in which highly skilled Mexicans in Vancouver participate in digitally enabled transnational activities. I explore how this group uses digital technologies to facilitate their transnational relations, particularly by focusing on how technology contributes to immigrants maintaining a sense of belonging in their country of origin, as they adapt to Vancouver at different stages of their migration journey. Additionally, I explore how highly skilled Mexicans deploy their social, cultural, economic and political capital once they are established in Vancouver to maintain or neglect their ties with Mexico. I use a mixed methods approach including autoethnography, analysis of public statistics, an analysis of Youtube data and 18 semi-structured interviews with highly skilled Mexicans in Vancouver. Throughout this research, I explore the socioeconomic characteristics of Mexican migrants to Vancouver and their interactions with Mexican institutions in Vancouver. I also look at how highly skilled Mexicans use digital technologies to maintain or neglect their transnational relations with Mexico, and the way that the use of these technologies impact their everyday life in Vancouver. To zoom into the role that identity negotiation plays in digital content created by expatriates, I analyze two YouTube channels hosted by Mexicans living in Vancouver. I conclude that a lack of adequate engagement from both the origin and destination nation-states results in a status of limbo for highly skilled Mexican immigrants that creates a need to reduce their vulnerability by choosing to associate with others who share a similar class habitus rather than nationality.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International