Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Timothy Austin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Bitna Kim, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Victor Q. Garcia, Ph.D.


This thesis examines, using the ethnographic method, the problems that Mexican women encounter as they struggle to adapt to life when their husbands come and go--spending only a few weeks out of the year at home, while most of the time is spent working en el otro lado ("on the other side") of the border. As a result, towns in México are left with an overwhelming number of women, who are a vital part of the migration phenomena. Little systematic research appears to have addressed the stress associated with this issue, making this MA thesis unique from the literature on immigration and associated problems. The majority of the existing research focuses on the men and migrating families already settled in the U.S. overlooking the other side of the problem: women who stay behind. This thesis conveys the personal voices of this important but often-neglected segment of the population.