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Abigail Andrews

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California, San Diego

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About Abigail

Abigail Andrews’s research focuses on globalization, migration, gender, and politics. In her recent work on Mexico-US migrant communities, Andrews uses ethnography to examine how city-level practices of immigration control work to silence undocumented communities, while shunting their activism back to the Mexican side. She also writes about gender, and about development and globalization in Latin America, with a particular interest in the power dynamics that permeate social movements and political institutions. Outside of the academy, Andrews is an advocate for migrants’ political and labor rights, particularly in the domestic workers movement and the movement to end U.S. detention of undocumented immigrants.

In the News

"In Mexico, Women Can Take Increased Roles in Local Politics in Response to the Crisis’ of Migration to the U.S.," Abigail Andrews, LSE’s Daily Blog on American Politics and Policy, July 7, 2014.
"When Migration is Crisis, ‘It is the Women Who Run Things'," Abigail Andrews, Gender and Society Blog, July 7, 2014.


"Women’s Political Engagement in a Mexican Sending Community: Migration as Crisis and the Struggle to Sustain an Alternative" Gender & Society 28, no. 4 (2014): 583-608.
Argues that in migrant-sending communities, members may see migration as a “crisis” threatening to push them into an excluded, low-wage underclass and in response, may become politically active – and women in particular may take new public roles – as a means to salvage their communities and sustain their way of life.
"Downward Accountability in Unequal Alliances: Explaining NGO Responses to Zapatista Demands" World Development 54 (2014): 99-113.
Examines how the Zapatista Movement was able to elicit “downward accountability” from its NGO supporters, pushing them to follow its agenda even as it depended on the NGOs for funds. Argues that social influence within an international social movement can help tie NGO legitimacy to downward accountability, despite imbalances of economic power.
"Patriarchal Accommodations: Women’s Mobility and Policies of Gender Difference from Urban Iran to Migrant Mexico." (with Nazanin Shahrokni). Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 43, no. 2 (2014): 148-175.
Argues that in the face of economic globalization, patriarchal states may adapt by expanding gender differences and restrictions into the public sphere. Discusses how these “patriarchal accommodations” – policies that appear to extend patriarchy – may allow women greater mobility, extending acceptable femininity into new spheres of movement and public life.
"The Quiet Insubordination of Staying Home: Rethinking Women who ‘Stay Behind'" in Globalización y Migración/Inmigración: Políticas Migratorias y Desarrollo Social, edited by Moreno Mena (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, 2013).
Argues that women who live in migrant sending communities are not necessarily “left” behind but may elect to remain in their hometowns for the quality of life it offers, including autonomy as workers, time with their children, and tranquility, particularly when women have negative experiences as migrant workers.