“The Gender and Geography of Citizenship in Mexico-U.S. Transnational Spaces”
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This paper proposes an approach for analyzing the gender and geography of citizenship practices in transnational social spaces in order to contribute to theorizing on state-transmigrant relations and citizenship. Drawing on feminist scholarship on citizenship I conceptualize citizenship as including formal rights and substantive citizenship practices that are exercised in relation to different levels of political authority, and in different geographic sites within transnational spaces. The approach is used to examine dynamics between Mexican state policies and programs and transmigrant organizations in Los Angeles. Using data from research on migration between Zacatecas and California, I argue that men find a privileged arena of action in transmigrant organizations and Mexican state-mediated transnational social spaces, which become spaces for practicing forms of citizenship that enhance their social and gender status. Women are excluded from active citizenship in this arena, but often practice substantive social citizenship in the United States.