Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Dr. Alisa Garni ’98 has been part of the faculty at Kansas State University since 2008. Her substantive interests include international development, migration, and social change. In her published work, Dr. Garni has examined how changing local conditions in war-torn Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua affect people’s decisions to migrate to the United States. She has also examined how land tenure patterns affect local development strategies across high migration communities. Pursuing questions on gender, migration, and development, Dr. Garni has also conducted ethnographic research on independent women entrepreneurs who carry goods between El Salvador and the United States. Studying how they do so sheds light on local mechanisms for combating gender inequality and promoting development. In collaborative work, Drs. Garni and Weyher connect questions of migration and development to changing conditions in war-torn El Salvador. They argue that on-going mass migration—driven by new conditions of desperation and alienation—represents a critical dissipation of class relations and struggle. Building on research examining the relationship between neoliberalism and high crime rates in war-torn Central America, they also examine how neoliberalism’s structural and ideological components both reflect and further contribute to the conditions and growing sense of estrangement that many Salvadorans face.