Mexicans in Alaska analyzes the mobility and experience of place of three generations of migrants who have been moving between Acuitzio del Canje, Michoacán, Mexico, and Anchorage, Alaska, since the 1950s. Based on Sara V. Komarnisky’s twelve months of ethnographic research at both sites and on more than ten years of engagement with the people in these locations, this book reveals that over time, Acuitzences have created a comprehensive sense of orientation within a transnational social field. Both locations and the common experience of mobility between them are essential for feeling “at home.” This migrant way of life requires the development of a transnational habitus as well as the skills, statuses, and knowledge required to live in both places. Komarnisky’s work presents a multigenerational and cross-continental understanding of the contemporary transnational experience.
Mexicans in Alaska examines how Acuitzences are living, working, and imagining their futures across North America and suggests that anthropologists look across borders to see how broader structural conditions operate both within and across national boundaries. Understanding the experiences of transnational migrants remains a critical goal of contemporary scholarship, and Komarnisky’s analysis of the complicated lives of three generations of migrants provides depth to the field.