Abigail L. Andrews

thumb__MG_0249_1024I am Assistant Professor of Sociology and co-director of the Mexican Migration Field Research Program at the University of California-San Diego. I study gender, migration, state power, and grassroots agency. I write, speak, and teach about the struggles of indigenous people, undocumented immigrants, deportees, and asylum seekers in Mexico, Central America, and the United States.

My award-winning book Undocumented Politics: Place, Gender, and the Pathways of Mexican Migrants (California 2018) traces how “voiceless” migrant communities confront state exclusion, upend patriarchy, and fight to belong. Drawing on two years of in-depth ethnography in four field sites in Mexico and the US, I underscore the complexities of gender and the importance of local politics.

I am currently researching the politics of forced displacement among Mexican deportees and Central American asylum seekers. In collaboration with several graduate and undergraduate students at UCSD, I explore how forced removals shape people’s citizenship, fracture families, facilitate exploitation, and inhibit or provoke advocacy. I pay special attention to the gendered dimensions of displacement and the uneven geography of removal.

I have also published on the role of gender in global politics and on power dynamics within transnational social movements. I ask how states use ideas about gender to reinforce power inequalities and how grassroots groups transform gender relations as they confront unfair conditions. I co-authored a textbook called The Social Life of Gender (Sage, 2017), which offers an accessible introduction to this approach.

For links see Publications. For more about me and my work, see My Story and CV.