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By Sarah England
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Extra resources for Afro-Central Americans in New York City: Garifuna Tales of Transnational Movements in Racialized Space
And yet despite the growing recognition that race, ethnicity, and nationalism are historically and culturally specific categories that do not have a biological basis, the terms are still widely used and often conflated. During my fieldwork period, I often heard Garifuna use the terms imprecisely and interchangeably, referring to themselves variously as an ethnic group, as a race, and as a nation. In some ways I wish to maintain this ambiguity because it reveals a great deal about how racial, ethnic, and national identities are mobilized in different moments to both include and exclude others in the formation of a notion of peoplehood.
Central American migration has generally been understood as a result of the restructuring of the international division of labor, the increasing absolute poverty in Central America, and political turmoil. These factors are understood to have led to the massive migration of peoples to the United States in search of better economic opportunities and political asylum. -bound migration have been impacted by these global economic changes and the political turmoil of the 1980s, these changes cannot be seen as the direct cause of Garifuna migration.
I use in-depth interviews and life histories to further analyze how Garifuna transmigrants, return migrants, and nonmigrants perceive of their place within the international division of labor, and how this is related to their analysis of whether migration ultimately leads to upward mobility or simply double exploitation. In Chapter 5, I continue the discussion of how Garifuna perceive of the race and class dynamics of transnational migration through a detailed discussion of the history of two different Limoneño grassroots organizations and their strategies for community development.
Afro-Central Americans in New York City: Garifuna Tales of Transnational Movements in Racialized Space by Sarah England