In Peruvian Lives across Borders, M. Cristina Alcalde examines the evolution of belonging and the making of home among middle- and upper-class Peruvians in Peru, the United States, Canada, and Germany.
Alcalde draws on interviews, surveys, participant observation, and textual analysis to argue that to belong is to exclude. To that end, transnational Peruvians engage in both subtle and direct policing along the borders of belonging. These acts allow them to claim and maintain the social status they enjoyed in their homeland even as they profess their openness and tolerance. Alcalde details these processes and their origins in Peru's gender, racial, and class hierarchies. As she shows, the idea of return—whether desired or rejected, imagined or physical—spurs constructions of Peruvianness, belonging, and home.
Deeply researched and theoretically daring, Peruvian Lives across Borders answers fascinating questions about an understudied group of migrants.