Miracles on the border: The votive art of Mexican migrants to the United States

Jorge Durand, Douglas S. Massey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


In recent decades the volume of migration between Mexico and the United States has risen dramatically and transnational movement has emerged as a major force binding the two countries. Although Mexican immigration has been the subject of many statistical studies (see Durand and Massey 1992 and Massey et al. 1994 for reviews), it has been less common to examine it from the viewpoint of the migrants themselves. Nonetheless, a growing literature has sought to portray migration, especially migration without documents, from the perspective of its participants. Investigators have compiled oral histories to reveal the life course dynamics of international migration (Durand 1996; Gamio 1931); analyzed the content of popular Mexican songs about migration and border crossing (Fernandez 1983; Herrera-Sobek 1979); and assembled letters written by undocumented migrants to friends and family at home (Siems 1992). One study gave disposable cameras to immigrants and asked them to take pictures of features of their environments that to them appeared "American" and "Latino" (Massey and Sánchez 2007). Many studies have done participant observation and in-depth interviewing among migrants to appreciate the vagaries of life in the United States through their eyes (Chávez 1991; Durand 2002; González-López 2005; Hondagneu-Sotelo 1994, 2001). A few former undocumented migrants have even published memoirs (de la Torre 1988; Pérez 1991).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArt in the Lives of Immigrant Communities in the United States
PublisherRutgers University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780813547572
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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