Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2012

Capstone Advisor

Hans Buechler Professor of Anthropology

Honors Reader

Amy Lutz Professor of Sociology

Capstone Major

International Relations

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

International and Area Studies | Latin American Studies | Other International and Area Studies


This research project is about national and transnational migration, as experienced by one Andean Ecuadorian family, currently living in the New York Metropolitan area in the United States. Through the collection of their life histories and an analysis of literature on this particular migrant group, I explore the different cultural trends that played a role in their migration from; rural Andean towns to large urban centers, from rural communities and urban centers into the Amazon jungle and their later migration to the United States of America.

Using Social Network Theory as an analytical framework, I am focusing on these individuals’ social networks, as a factor in their internal migration in Ecuador and to the United States, finding that often times, people that are not a part of their closest networks, such as acquaintances, neighbors and distant relatives can play a very influential role in creating the opportunity to migrate, through funding, loans, as well as becoming hosts to the migrants. The use of these social networks in my informants’ migration history is extracted from hours of interviews and my personal observations. Their stories are injected into the text and in their own voice, allowing the reader to hear from the migrants themselves and draw further conclusions. The findings are consistent with those of other studies on migration, asserting that social and cultural factors play an important role in the decision to migrate and migrants’ settlement patterns.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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