Moved by Love: The Experiences of Mexican Women Who Migrated to Canada for a Romantic Relationship
Equihua Bracho, Natalia
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This thesis deals with love migration, a kind of mobility where the complicated and yet so common emotions and dynamics that characterize any romantic relationship intersect with the disruptions and processes of migration. Because love migration is a relatively unexplored area of study, the present work comprises an exploratory approach which focuses on the perspective of Mexican women who migrated to Canada for a romantic relationship. Specifically, this project aims to address the experiences of displacement and emplacement of love migrants. Put differently, it asks how Mexican women experience moving to Canada and adjusting to the country when their motivation is romantic love. To answer this question, I interviewed 15 Mexican middle-class women who settled in Montreal, Quebec and the greater area of Kingston, Ontario. The sample included participants in heterosexual and same-sex relationships with Mexican and non-Mexican partners they met “unexpectedly” in Mexico, online, or while travelling abroad. The women I interviewed described falling in love with partners who complemented the autonomous lives they had constructed so far. Geographic distance opened the question of migration, and they moved to Canada hoping to build a future with their partners. However, in this thesis I argue that the process of migration challenged these women’s autonomy and romantic motivations. On the one hand, I found that love migrants’ displacement was a disruptive process. It confronted them with the emotional conflict of leaving their family and community behind, and it involved a bureaucratic process that questioned their romantic motivations and imposed restrictive regulations for the initial years of life in Canada. On the other hand, their emplacements comprised a process of self-determination. They had to actively work to make space for themselves in their romantic relationships and in the Canadian society. Overall, I argue that Mexican women’s love migrations are an expression of autonomy. And, despite the challenges and restrictions they encountered when moving to a new country, their stories show the conviction they have to maintain a sense of independence and to construct the future they imagined when they decided to move to Canada.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/23021
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