What is it about?

In rural Mexico, as in many other locations worldwide, women’s mobility is depicted as less natural or more problematic than men’s. Simultaneously, women are perceived as less mobile than their male peers. Does this mean that they move less? Where are these images derived from? Using ethnographic data, this article explores the social construction of (im)mobility in the context of a small village in central Mexico. Mobility and immobility are socially constructed and imbued with different meanings according to gender. Such differences rely on the fact that the borders are not equally significant for men and women. Borders become meaningful partly due to the reasons of border crossing, which are, in this ethnographic case, different according to gender.

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Why is it important?

It provides a gendered analysis of the imaginaries and values attached to mobility and immobility.


Patriarchal gender ideologies continue to associate staying put with women. This process of naturalization stems from and reinforces the sedentary ideology of the nation-state to further immobilize women.

Diana Mata-Codesal
University of Barcelona

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Gendered (im)mobility: Rooted women and waiting Penelopes, Crossings Journal of Migration and Culture, October 2017, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/cjmc.8.2.151_1.
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