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Migration lecture to focus on Venezuelan migrants

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas alumnus and expert on Venezuelan migration to the United States will examine the difficulties migrants face, especially as the Latin American country suffers from political and economic crises.

Lourdes Gouveia, founding director emerita of the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies and professor emerita of sociology at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, will give a talk, "Legality and Precarity among Middle-Class Venezuelan Migrants" at noon Wednesday, Oct. 12, at The Commons at Spooner Hall at the University of Kansas. The event is part of the KU Center for Migration Research's Migration Lecture Series.

"These mostly middle-class migrants, despite their relatively high levels of education, often experience long periods of precarious legal statuses and economic instability," Gouveia said. "Given the economic and political turmoil enveloping Venezuela, this migration to the United State is likely to remain a reality that merits our attention."

Gouveia received her doctorate in sociology from KU in 1989 and has now returned to Lawrence to write and to explore new collaborations with both the migration center and the sociology department.

She has authored and co-authored a number of articles aimed at documenting the profound socio-demographic changes and processes of immigrant incorporation occurring in new destination states such as Nebraska. Her current work focuses on an entirely different migrant stream, the growing exodus of middle-class Venezuelans. The work is situated within the context of increasing global precarity of unskilled and skilled labor alike, and the compounded effects of Latin America’s failed development and governance models.  

The lecture is open to the public.

Cecilia Menjívar and Victor Agadjanian, both Foundation Distinguish Professors of sociology, came to KU in 2015 as faculty members to start the KU Center for Migration Research under the KU Institute for Policy & Social Research. The center promotes and coordinates KU research on causes, types and consequences of human migration at the state, regional, national and global levels.