Home Institution

Harvard University

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Program Name

Mexico: Migration, Borders, and Transnational Communities


Using sociological qualitative methods, this article identifies three main themes on how Mexican university student who lived a significant part of their childhoods in the U.S. without documents negotiate their multicultural identities. Using transnationalism and post-colonial cultural theory as theoretical frames for my investigation, I put these themes in discussion with academic discourse related to the topic to make three conclusions on Mexican-American transborder identity. The first is that the persistence of difficulties transborder university students face integrating into Mexican society show that the difficulties of being a transborder student continue as the students age and mature. Second, is that the students’ efforts to have their identities recognized at the university and of operationalizing their bilingualism represent the formation of a new identity that is a product of return migration. Lastly, the identities of transborder students who had lived in the U.S. without authorization are still continuously changing as they mature and further establish themselves as independent adults. The goal of this research is to provide findings and conclusions that will contribute valuable information on how to begin understanding transborder identity and the experience of Mexican-American students and serve as a starting for future research on the topic.


American Studies | International and Intercultural Communication | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Studies | Migration Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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