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Migration, Social Organization, and the Sexual Partners of Mexican Men

Emilio A. Parrado and Chenoa A. Flippen
Social Problems
Vol. 61, No. 3 (August 2014), pp. 380-401
DOI: 10.1525/sp.2014.12262
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Page Count: 22
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Migration, Social Organization, and the Sexual Partners of Mexican Men
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We build on recent developments in social organization theory to examine the sexual partnering of Mexican men in a new area of immigrant destination. We elaborate on two levels of contextual influence: (1) how differences in social capital between sending and receiving communities affect partner formation and (2) how neighborhood social cohesion influences immigrants' behavior. Data come from an original survey conducted in Durham, North Carolina, and migrant sending communities in Mexico. We show dramatic differences in sexual partnering between Mexico and the United States, which are directly linked to lack of social networks and familial support. Neighborhood-level social cohesion in part counteracts those effects. The role of social capital and neighborhoods, however, is highly gendered. The presence of women is a critical dimension of the social organization of immigrant communities and its effect extends beyond mere partner availability.

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