Género y trayectorias migratorias : el caso de tarijeños y tarijeñas vinculados/as al mercado de trabajo hortícola de Apolinario Saravia, provincia de Salta (Argentina)


Pizarro, Cynthia

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264 p.


Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 2.0 Genérica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)




Salta (province)


This doctoral thesis focuses on the migration of Bolivian people to Apolinario Saravia, a Municipality in Salta Province. From the 1960s until the end of the 1980s, Bolivian people from Camargo (Chuquisaca department) arrived to this region to join as workers in the production of tobacco. Towards the end of the eighties, the reception of Bolivian people ended because of the national crisis of the tobacco production. Then, a reconversion to the cultivation of different vegetables started and, concomitantly, a new stage of the migration process began; but, in this case, Bolivians from the rural areas of Tarija. This moment (the end of the eighties) is chosen as the starting point of this thesis.

Particularly, we were interested in the ways in which the migratory trajectories of the tarijeños and tarijeñas related to the agricultural labor market configure as well as become the result of the gender system of the society of origin and destination. To this purpose, the methodological strategy was qualitative based on the ethnographic approach. The data collection techniques were in-depth interviews andparticipant observation. Additionally, to reconstruct the migratory trajectories, biography was used as a methodological resource.

We pointed out that the Bolivian migrants built their migratory projects in terms of a historical strategy of reproduction of the farmers' household units. On the one hand, in the case of the migratory trajectories of men which started before the Law of Migrations 25871, enacted in 2004, their migratory projects were articulated to the commandments of masculinity posed by the gender system. Such commandments establish that when a men “becomes young”, approximately around fourteen years old, his moment in the life cycle changes and he has to “go fetch”, to migrate in order to work and earn his living. Some of these men mentioned different experiences of physical violence exerted by the State while crossing the border area, accounts that denote a demonstration of manliness because they were capable of migrate even in those conditions. On the other hand, women that initiated their migratory trajectories before 2004 have not described any similar experience. We consider that these situations either have not been experienced by these women or they were not recounted, precisely because it is not conceived as an appropriate situation to be experienced by a woman.

To come back to the men, the migratory projects were carried out by means of family-based masculine chains and masculine networks that connected previous migrants who became patrones (owners of the farms) to these new migrants that went to work to the farms of the former ones. These networks articulated subjects that were part of unequal power relations and promoted the ethnical segmentation in the agricultural labor market. Although some of the analyzed cases achieved an improvement in their labor positions, the socioeconomic upward mobility has not constituted a generalized situation. Moreover, the living and working conditions of all the migrants that participated in the agricultural labor market over the period under study can be described as hard, difficult, precarious and informal and, correspondingly, the possibilities of upward mobility were limited.

After some years of going from the northwest of Argentina to their places of origin and coming back from there, some of these men undertook a new migratory project with their couples, mostly of them belonging to the same place of origin, characterized by a definitive nature. In consequence, new household units were formed in the place of destination in which the division of tasks implied that men were, mainly, in the labor field and separated from household chores. Likewise these men reproduced their role of patriarch in the society of destination, holding the authority in the new household unit. In this respect, we have indicated that there was no contradiction between this male role and the gender system of the place of destination. While analyzing the projects of the sons of some of these migrants, we have noticed breaks and continuities regarding the gender commandments of their fathers.

Many of the women that started their migratory trajectories before 2004 “have followed” the men mentioned above. Women negotiated their migratory projects with the men belonging to their household units (fathers or elder brothers) who had the power to give or deny the permission to migrate. In general terms, these women question the diagnosis concerning the qualitative feminization of migratory flows. The main reason for them to migrate was the possibility of being mothers and wives within their own household units. We have also pointed out that the new household units reproduced the patriarchal system showed, in some cases, by acts of physical and psychological violence against women.

Finally, we have analyzed a series of men and women migratory trajectories that started after 2004, a moment in which the border area ceased to appear as “dangerous”. The contexts of origin as well as the ways of migration according to the gender system were not substantially altered with respect to the migrants of the previous stage. The main difference can be identified in relation to the moment of the life cycle in which these new migrants are that coincides with women entirely dedicated to a naturalized role of caregivers. However, other migratory and labor options appear in this period and drive the new generations away from migrating to join the agricultural labor in Argentina.

Table Of Contents

Preguntas de investigación y objetivos
Estructura de la tesis

CAPÍTULO 1: Contexto conceptual
1.1 El inmigrante como trabajador en mercados laborales segmentados
La identidad migrante
Las redes y cadenas migratorias
Lxs bolivianxs y su inserción en mercados de trabajo segmentados por nacionalidad en Argentina
Los comienzos, el NOA como principal destino de las migraciones bolivianas
Lxs bolivianxs y su articulación con nichos laborales en zonas urbanas y periurbanas
1.2 El género en los estudios migratorios
El sistema de género en la construcción del proyecto migratorio
El sistema de género en el tránsito fronterizo
El sistema de género en la inserción laboral de los inmigrantes
Rupturas y continuidades en el sistema de género en lxs hijxs de lxs migrantes
1.3 El abordaje de las trayectorias migratorias
Las trayectorias migratorias y los cambios en los sistemas de género de bolivianxs articulados en mercados de trabajo segmentados en Salta

CAPITULO 2: La metodología
2.1 ¿Qué significa adoptar un enfoque etnográfico?
La reflexividad
2.2 La entrevista etnográfica y la observación participante
La biografía como recurso para reconstruir las trayectorias migratorias
2.3 El recorte espacio – temporal y la selección de los casos
2.4 Descripción de la muestra
2.5 El procesamiento de la información y la presentación de los datos

CAPÍTULO 3: Los contextos de la migración en origen y destino
3.1 Las migraciones en, hacia y desde Bolivia
Tarija en Bolivia
3.2 Ser boliviano y boliviana en Argentina y Salta
3.3 Lxs bolivianxs en la historia agrícola de Apolinario Saravia

CAPÍTULO 4: Trayectorias migratorias masculinas previas al 2004
4.1. La construcción del proyecto migratorio masculino
4.2 Cruzar la frontera
4.3 La inserción laboral en Argentina y la reestructuración de la unidad doméstica
4.4 Los retornos temporarios y definitivos
4.5 Una trayectoria migratoria diferente
4.6 Rupturas y continuidades generacionales: los hijos varones
Conclusiones del capítulo

CAPITULO 5: Trayectorias migratorias femeninas previas al 2004
5.1 La construcción del proyecto migratorio
5.1.1 Proyectos migratorios asociacionales
5.1.2 Proyectos migratorios autónomos
5.2 Cruzar la frontera
5.3 La inserción laboral y la unidad doméstica
5.4 Los retornos temporarios y definitivos
5.5 Rupturas y continuidades generacionales: las hijas mujeres
Conclusiones del capítulo

CAPÍTULO 6: Las nuevas generaciones de migrantes (posteriores al 2004)
6.1 La construcción del proyecto migratorio
6.2 Cruzar la frontera
6.3 La inserción laboral y la unidad doméstica
El trabajo en las hortalizas vs los talleres textiles
6.4 Los retornos temporarios
6.5 Los proyectos futuros.
6.6 Una trayectoria migratoria diferente
Conclusiones del capítulo

Conclusiones finales


Título obtenido

Doctora de la Universidad de Buenos Aires en Ciencias Sociales

Institución otorgante

Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales

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