Following the Money. Accumulation and Production Strategies of the Migrant Space in a Commodity Region

Authors: Yasna Contreras*, Department of Geography, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, University of Chi
Topics: Ethnic Geography, Immigration/Transnationalism, Migration
Keywords: COMMODITY REGION, migration, cross-border migrant
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Directors Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Studies on migration and money have focused on understanding the impact and dynamics of remittances in places and families of origin. However, there is an important gap in terms of the financial, labor and territorial strategies of migrants in the destination spaces. This article asks: How do migrants' monetary strategies explain their use and appropriation of public space in their current place of residence? Through a case study of the northern city of Antofagasta, Chile, ethnographic work was conducted over three months, identifying three types of migrants according to their monetary strategies and ways of relating to space: the cross-border migrant, expectant migrant and consolidated migrant. Our argument is that the monetary strategies of migrants in these type of commodity regions have common elements (for example, savings decisions and access to residence) but also differences (investment decisions and access to work) that do not only depend on the time of permanence, but also on the degree of spatial appropriation that they achieve in the destination city. These strategies are not static, rather they evolve according to the migratory cycle, the dependency relations with the space of origin and the link they acquire with the current residence territory.

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