Landscapes of Belonging and Exclusion: Youth mobility and State Practice in Argentina

Authors: Maria Barbero*, Florida International University
Topics: Migration, Latin America, Ethnicity and Race
Keywords: youth, migration, Latin America
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Mid-City, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The UN estimates that one-third of all international migrants are under 29. In Argentina, the epicenter of migratory flows in South America, migrants between 15-29 represent roughly 20% of the foreign-born population. Yet the field of migration studies has largely focused on migration as an adult phenomenon. Specifically, while the growing literature on migration control has offered significant insights regarding the mechanisms of immigration bureaucracies and the politics of borders and boundaries, it has not yet accounted for the role of age-related constructions in the politics of migration control. As a result, we know little about the ways in which migration control and regulation works in relation to young migrants.

Drawing from geography and youth studies scholarship, this paper looks at the ways in which the Argentine state seeks to manage the complexities of youth migration. By analyzing data collected in Buenos Aires through doctoral dissertation research, I explore the ways in which state agents and agencies seek to clearly delineate stark boundaries between childhood and adulthood that accompany a set of assumptions about the needs, desires, and dangers that particular migrants bring with them. In turn, I also explore the strategies that young migrants mobilize in order to navigate these realities, seeking to fulfill their migration projects within and sometimes despite the limits and boundaries set forth by the state. By looking at the gaps that emerge between the state’s response to youth migration, and young migrants’ needs and desires, this paper contributes to youth and migration studies scholarship.

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