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Winner of the 2021 Capstone Editing Grant for Professional Thesis Editing

Posted by Capstone Editing on 3 December 2021

Winner of our 2021 Grant for Thesis Editing


We are so pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Capstone Editing Grant for Professional Thesis Editing, Bernardo Lopez Marin. He is a PhD (Anthropology) student in the Department of Social Inquiry at La Trobe University.

The Capstone Editing Grant for Professional Thesis Editing will assist Bernardo by providing him with our Platinum (Heavy) Editing service worth approximately A$4,313.78 for his thesis of around 80,000 words, entitled ‘The significance of trans­migratory journeys for migrants in transit through Mexico and Central Africa’. Capstone Editing will ensure that this vital research is presented in the best possible light.

Bernardo’s Thesis Abstract


This research explores the particularities of unauthorised migration in different contexts and settings, conveying a comparative study between Mexico and Morocco as transit and receptor countries. The methodological framework embraces an anthropological perspective supported by qualitative methods that inspect and analyse the experiences and everyday lives of unauthorised migrants and asylum seekers who are stuck or in transit through these countries. Attention is given to the strategies they use to survive and the transformations to their human condition upon enduring irregularisation, unemployment, discrimination, marginalisation, racism and destitution. The aim of the thesis is to identify how their ontological perception changes and explore emerging feelings and sentiments that affect their quality of life, including the gradual effects of precarity and social exclusion. All this is analysed through a comprehensive exploration of how socio-cultural similarities create relationships that help people integrate within local societies or continue moving. Meanwhile, the extent and intensity of the consequences emerging from socio-cultural differences indicate a higher level of difficulty for those unfamiliar with local values and customs.   

The thesis analyses irregular migration focusing on current socio-political power relations and economic influence that have been imposed by the West upon nations of the Global South through globalisation and neocolonial practices that keep them politically and economically dependent. This research considers these forms of oppression a significant cause in the increase in numbers of people migrating, while new international agreements and treaties continue to support anti-migratory regimes that negatively affect the lives of migrants and expose them to journeys of life and death.

The research’s contributions aim to understand the psycho-social characteristics shaping people’s experiences of these journeys and identify how the difficulties and consequences of irregular migration vary depending on age, gender, ethnicity, religion, linguistic proficiency and socio-economic status. These variables are used to identify and conceptualise the social, physical and psychological effects unauthorised migration has on these populations. Uncertainty and precarity cause appalling circumstances that dislocate their existence and transform their experiences and realities in form and shape. The thesis poses an analytical inquiry that explores the variabilities and temporalities of these journeys, as ephemeral life transitions characterised by drastic changes in living conditions that become even more difficult when people become stuck. Life in precarity and the concomitants of time, lacking food, drink, housing, assets and access to health give another meaning to the struggle for survival. These conditions lead to social marginalisation and even destitution, making it more complicated for people to continue moving, return to their countries or integrate into local societies.

This thesis argues that the constant transformation in the human condition of unauthorised migrants and asylum seekers is symptomatic of an ever-changeable perception of self during migratory journeys. Thus, the corollaries of border governance manifest in the emergence of palpable uncertainty, poverty, hunger, suffering, insecurity, sickness and death. One of the main goals of this research is to explore the negative impacts of these journeys on the bodies and minds of these individuals and identify the substance of their struggles to resist institutionalised oppression, international (im)mobilities, challenging living conditions, criminalisation, racialisation and dehumanisation.


Capstone Editing

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