FOLLOWING MY MIGRANT LEGACY: TOWARD AN AUTOETHNOGRAPHIC FRAMEWORK THAT REIMAGINES THE TRANSITION TO COLLEGE AS A MIGRATION
Haverford College. Department of Anthropology
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In this thesis, I use an autoethnographic approach to demonstrate how the transition to college can be viewed as a migratory process, particularly for second-generation migrants. I leverage my lived experience as the eldest daughter of Mexican immigrant parents to assemble a framework that visualizes the different parts of my migration from Los Angeles, California to Haverford College in suburban Pennsylvania. I parallel my own experiences with those of my parents when they migrated from Hidalgo, Mexico to Los Angeles and reflect on their similarities and differences. The objective of this thesis is to portray (1) how my parents' own migration to the United States influenced my own collegiate journey out-of-state and (2) demonstrate different aspects of the transition to college that resemble areas studied within migration studies. I coin the term ‘migrant legacies' to show how the knowledge derived from migration can be passed down intergenerationally and intragenerationally and applied to different settings, such as the journey through higher education. Ultimately, through a deep autoethnographic and familial history approach, I aim at exploring how ‘migrant legacies' can serve as valuable sites for knowledge production that give second-generation migrants forms of social and cultural capital that can help them thrive and survive in new college environments.