by Peggy Levitt, Ph.D.
From the Spring/Summer 2008 Research & Action Report
One hot August afternoon in 1999, after the day’s cooking and cleaningwere done, I asked some of the young women of Miraflores, a Dominicanvillage I studied for my dissertation, to talk with me about how theirlives had changed since so many of their friends and neighbors beganmigrating to the United States. Mirafloreños have been moving to Bostonsince the early 1970s, settling in and around the neighborhoods ofDorchester, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain. By the mid-1990s, nearlythree-quarters of its households had family members living inMassachusetts. Close to 60 percent received some monthly income supportfrom migrants. It seemed to me that the exchanges of people, money,goods, and what I call social remittancesor ideas, practices, social capital, and identities that circulateregularly between people who move and people who stay behind haddramatically transformed aspects of daily life. In particular, I wantedto know how women’s lives had changed.