Exiled Home: Salvadoran Transnational Youth in the Aftermath of Violence
Susan Bibler Coutin is Professor of Criminology, Law and Society and Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Nations of Emigrants: Shifting Boundaries of Citizenship in El Salvador and the United States; Legalizing Moves: Salvadoran Immigrants’ Struggle for U.S. Residency; and The Culture of Protest: Religious Activism and the U.S. Sanctuary Movement.
Conclusion: Re/membering Exiled Homes
The conclusion steps back from the case of emigration from El Salvador to the United States to consider the notions of space, time, and movement that are implicit in the forms of dismemberment and re/membering that are analyzed in earlier chapters. Young people’s accounts of their own lives compete with other possible interpretations, in which, for example, the violence that compelled them to emigrate is reconstrued as poverty or in which the marginalization they experienced in the United States is reconfigured as a likelihood that they will become criminals. These competing interpretations of origins and trajectories make the time “before” emigration one of flux and conditionality. Exploring this alternative understanding of origin as one of movement rather than stasis gestures toward futures in which multiple memberships might be acknowledged.