Me mandó a traer: Weak "strong ties" in Latina immigrants' social networks.

Author(s): Hurtado-de-Mendoza A,  Gonzales FA,  Serrano AM,  Kaltman S

Journal: J Community Psychol

Date: 2014 May

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): CPFP

PubMed ID:

PMC ID: not available

Abstract: The impact of social capital in immigrant communities is well acknowledged. However, research has heavily relied on quantitative studies and has tended to emphasize its positive impact. There has been a paucity of qualitative research that examines the complex dynamics of accessing support from social networks, especially when it entails family reunification and trauma. Twenty-eight Latina immigrant women participated in an interview focused on traumatic and stressful experiences that included questions about accessing support from informal networks. Women used the expression "me mandó a traer" (I was brought in) when describing others' involvement in their immigration decision and initial settlement. This expression captured the ambivalence of receiving assistance from relatives or friends and also their challenges accessing support in a context of family reunification, scarce resources, and trauma exposure. This study contributes to the literature on immigrants' individual social capital further expanding a nuanced understanding of family reunification experiences.