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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Oriol Pi-Sunyer

Second Advisor

Martin Wobst

Third Advisor

Mari Castaneda

Fourth Advisor

Jean Forward

Subject Categories

Social and Cultural Anthropology


This dissertation examines social inequalities rooted in capital. Through research conducted in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, this project interrogates how social characters use capital to access goods and services. By investigating seasonal migration of US and Canadian retirees into the region, the work highlights the social construction of retirement, the use of state and local governances to establish white only enclaves, and the nation-state’s role in creating marginalized populations in the Texas-Mexico borderlands. Ethnography is the primary research method with demographic and popular culture analysis as secondary modes of collecting data.