Doctoral Dissertation Research: Daniel Joseph: Resource Mobilization and Network Formation within Forced Migrant Communities

Grants and Contracts Details


During summer 2015, thousands of illegal Haitian migrants and Dominicans born of undocumented Haitian descent were forced out from the Dominican Republic and arrived in Haiti where most currently live in makeshift camps in the border region between the two countries. In Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere and among the most politically unstable, this population has had to try and find ways to make a living and many endure challenges in meeting their daily survival needs. The displaced persons who are Dominicans of Haitian origin have also found themselves stateless, having been stripped of their citizenship by the Dominican state and denied status as Haitians by the Haitian government. My project is an ethnographic study of these Dominicans of Haitian backgrounds and addresses the following question: how do these displaced persons, in the face of statelessness and amid their precarious social and economic conditions, create substantive citizenship by mobilizing resources within and across their communities? I will explore this question through two lines of inquiry:first, I will examine how these displaced persons develop and use forms of personal and collective enterprise such as working in the informal economy and building social networks as a central survival strategy. Second, I will investigate how these economic and social practices produce a form of substantive citizenship by allowing this displaced group to create a sense of belonging to their new communities despite their absence of legal citizenship. My project will contribute to expanding the idea of displaced people as social agents, who develop survival strategies for self development and self-reliance, and also reinforcing the conceptualization of citizenship beyond the juridico- legal aspect.
Effective start/end date2/1/171/31/18


  • National Science Foundation: $21,861.00


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