Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Ann E. Kingsolver

Second Advisor

Dr. David S. Simmons

Abstract

This ethnographic research explores the perspective of a largely immigrant Haitian community in the Dominican Republic and their small-scale development strategies via transborder citizen-to-citizen networks. The community of Batey Libertad partners with U.S. student groups throughout the year to support some of its development initiatives in what I refer to as "student development tourism." Student development tourism is a growing phenomenon that links development, service learning, and volunteerism and is a trend that promises to grow steadily as more universities across the United States promote service and volunteerism both at home and abroad. I focus on the nexus of negotiated development goals on the part of both local and international actors, as well as the ways in which student development tourism of U.S.-based groups both drives and supports grassroots development in Batey Libertad. As resources and support pour into the community through these groups, residents of the batey work to use their agency collectively and individually to direct and redirect social and financial capital towards what they see as their greatest needs.

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