Women Who Stay Behind

Pedagogies of Survival in Rural Transmigrant Mexico

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Women Who Stay Behind examines the social, educational, and cultural resources rural Mexican women employ to creatively survive the conditions created by the migration of loved ones. Using narrative, research, and theory, Ruth Trinidad Galván presents a hopeful picture of what is traditionally viewed as the abject circumstances of poor and working-class people in Mexico who are forced to migrate to survive. 

The book studies women’s and families’ use of cultural knowledge, community activism, and teaching and learning spaces. Throughout, Trinidad Galván provides answers to these questions: How does the migration of loved ones alter community, familial, and gender dynamics? And what social relations (convivencia), cultural knowledge, and women-centered pedagogies sustain women’s survival (supervivencia)?

Researchers, educators, and students interested in migration studies, gender studies, education, Latin American studies, and Mexican American studies will benefit from the ethnographic approach and theoretical insight of this groundbreaking work.

“Trinidad Galván vividly documents her own convivencia with the women, and it is clear she engaged in a remarkable process with them, allowing her unique insights into their pedagogies.”—Andrea Dyrness, author of Mothers United: An Immigrant Struggle for Socially Just Education


“Because much of the literature examines macro- or micro-issues, Trinidad Galván does an amazing job of seeking out the complex relations that are created and re-created by the flow back and forth between macro-level globalization and micro-level realities.”—Cinthya Saavedra, Utah State University


"Beautifully and lovingly written, this book powerfully re-visions teaching and learning as life-sustaining practices, as supervivencia. It portrays the ordinary and extraordinary modes of nurturing community, joy, and spirituality among rural Mexican women who stay behind to make a living within the unforgiving, often devastating, processes of migration. Trinidad Galván’s ethnography has the potential to rework notions of critical pedagogy and liberatory education with generative theory emanating from women’s reflections on their work and leadership. It adds another critical feminist dimension to migration studies in dialogue with Latina/Chicana feminist thought."—Sofia Villenas, co-editor of Chicana/Latina Education in Everyday Life: Feminista Perspectives on Pedagogy and Epistemology
Women Who Stay Behind
200 Pages 6 x 9 Published: 2015 Hardcover (9780816531455)
Ebook (9780816501984)

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