Gender and mobility at the Arizona-Sonora border: Women's lives in an international urban context
AuthorHansen, Ellen Rita, 1954-
AdvisorMonk, Janice J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis research examines women's lives at the United States-Mexico border in Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Sonora, focusing on women's physical mobility and their perceptions of the border in everyday life. Women's choices about where they will and will not go reflect their connections to the significant people and places in their lives, the constraints and opportunities offered by the urban context, and the gender roles and relations shaping their possibilities, perceptions, and actions. Patterns of mobility that relate directly to the border are differentiated by place of residence and nationality, and the border is a more significant influence on the daily mobility of women in Agua Prieta than of those in Douglas. Women in Agua Prieta tend to cross the border more frequently and regularly, stay for longer times, and shop for US products related to daily household maintenance, such as food and clothing. Women from Douglas cross the border less frequently, and more often in search of specialty items only available or less expensive in Mexico, such as medicines and certain foods. Place of residence and nationality also differentially shape women's attitudes toward life at the border. The women from Agua Prieta generally view the border positively and appreciate having ready access to US stores and products, while women in Douglas are more negative, and many regard the border with fear that restricts their cross-border travel. The study also highlights the changing nature of cross-border relationships, as economic factors become increasingly important in the functioning of border communities and social ties fade. On both sides, gender roles and relations in the household are critical influences on patterns of mobility within the community, overriding other factors such as economic levels and nationality. In both Douglas and Agua Prieta, women's transportation of children and their employment outside the home are the most important factors shaping their mobility. To meet the obligations of their gender roles in this sociocultural context, they make multiple trips throughout the day, often without direct control over the necessary means of transportation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Geography and Regional Development