Call centres in Guatemala represent a transnational labour market that draws employees from two critical masses of population. A majority of the workforce is comprised of young urban university students. A minority are migrants who have returned from the United States, mostly through deportation. According to traditional labour stratification and Guatemalan ethnic and racial ideologies, these two groups should be separated both socially and spatially, while the new transnational worker should be represented by the highly educated middle class. The returned migrants, who are imagined in Guatemalan as gang members or the sort of uncultured people who have historically been excluded from the transnational, defy this logic. This talk will examine these symbolic struggles over defining the ideal transnational worker.
Luis Pedro Meoño Artiga is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico. Hehas worked in Guatemalanas aninvestigator for the Center of Regional Investigationin Mesoamerica (CIRMA) and the Rigoberta MenchúTum Foundation, examiningthe current state of inter-ethnic relations in Guatemala. His academic interests are focused onurbananthropology, inparticular Guatemala City, from contemporary expressions ofpopular culture to return migration.