The Social Organization of Mexican Migration to the United States

Douglas S. Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Migration between Mexico and the United States is supported by social networks that link sending communities with specific work sites in the United States. This article uses a combination of ethnographic and survey methods to study how these networks develop and how they facilitate the migrant enterprise. Migrant networks are based on the bonds of kinship, friendship, and paisanaje, which are reinforced through frequent contact in voluntary organizations. Over time, as networks develop and mature, migration becomes self-sustaining. The maturation of migrant networks in western Mexico after 1965 helps to explain the sharp rise in Mexican migration to the United States during the 1970s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-113
Number of pages12
JournalThe ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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