Migration Politics and Human Rights: Redefining the Camera as Collaborative Technology in Transnational Communities

By Óscar F. Gil-García.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Forced migration of Guatemalans and their participation in the labor markets of Mexico and the US has led to their categorization as economic migrants. This identification loses sight of the contextual experience of forced migration for more than economic reasons. My research methods apply a cultural analysis that blends feminist ethnography with photography. By distributing single-use color cameras, participants’ have been able to use a visual technological tool in the field and record aspects of their lives of greatest concern. My use of a feminist ethnographic approach aims to challenge the dominant representation of migrants, based on a heteropatriarchical gendered script, which defines women as domestics and nurturer’s of children, while men are viewed as mobile wage earners. This gendered construction of women-as- domestic has become a dominant photographic method in recording forced migrants by International Humanitarian Organizations such as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees that reinforce their visual cultural representation as technologically backward that has direct material consequences in the global feminization of the labor force. The photographs in my study, and participants’ interpretations of them, enhance globalization/gender theories by capturing the cultural practices and technological forms that enable or prevent women or men from participating in particular forms of production and exchange.

Keywords: Research Focus, Feminist Ethnography, Theory Focus, Gender, Migration, Globalization

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 2, Issue 7, pp.189-206. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.448MB).

Óscar F. Gil-García

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, The University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, The University of California at Santa Barbara, USA

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