Gabrielle Salangsang Cabrera

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Rutgers U.

Grant number

Gr. 9985

Approve Date

August 26, 2020

Project Title

Cabrera, Gabrielle (Rutgers U.) "Migrant Futures: Mexican and Filipino Undocumented Youth in California’s Central Valley"

This project focuses on how Mexican and Filipino undocumented youth produce themselves as social beings in everyday life and as part of a collective struggle for migrant futures in the United States. Set in an increasingly neoliberal university in California’s Central Valley and in the migrant city that surrounds it, this project considers the moral and political economy that shape the legibility and forms of political recognition available to these undocumented youth. Undocumented youth are marked as ‘illegal’ in the public, then are interpellated as ‘diverse’ students in the university, opening new and complex possibilities for self-making and belonging. This project follows the youth from their time at the university as students and into the surrounding migrant city and examines how they construct themselves in response to numerous social pressures across axes of difference beyond citizenship, such as racialization, ethnicity, age, and gender. By analyzing the experience of everyday life of undocumented youth and the social actions they engage in to transform discourses of illegality and diversity to “dream their futures,” this project extends anthropological debates about citizenship and personhood providing a critical reading of “dreamer meritocracy” against the backdrop of the neoliberal university and the migrant city.