Call centres in Guatemala represent a transnational labour market that draws employees from two critical masses of population; the largest group is young urban university students, the rest are minority migrants who have returned from the United States.
Doctoral candidate in anthropology at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico Luis Pedro Meoño Artiga will discuss the issues that arise in his talk, “Transnational homies and the urban middle class: defining the ideal transnational service worker in Guatemala,” Tuesday, April 28, from 2:30 to 4:30pm, 901 Kaneff Tower, Keele campus. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The migrants who have returned from the United States have done so mostly through deportation. According to traditional labour stratification and Guatemalan ethnic and racial ideologies, these two groups should be separated both socially and spatially, while the new transnational worker should be represented by the highly educated middle class, says Artiga. The returned migrants, who are imagined in Guatemalan as gang members or the sort of uncultured people who have historically been excluded from the transnational, defy this logic.
The talk will examine these symbolic struggles over defining the ideal transnational worker.
Artiga has worked in Guatemalanas an investigator for the Center of Regional Investigation in Mesoamerica and the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation, examining the current state of inter-ethnic relations in Guatemala. His academic interests are focused on urban anthropology, in particular Guatemala City, from contemporary expressions of popular culture to return migration.
For more information, visit the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean website.