Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Merced

UC Merced Previously Published Works bannerUC Merced

‘Negative credentials,’ ‘foreign-earned’ capital, and call centers: Guatemalan deportees’ precarious reintegration


This article explores the precarious conditions deported Guatemalans encounter in their country of birth, alongside a consideration of how Guatemalan deportees’ agency is structured by precarity yet mediated by individual factors such as foreign-earned capital and negative credentials. Previous research has found that deportees are often criminalized, stigmatized, and blamed for social problems. Researchers have also found that deportees can be well-suited for work in the transnational call center sector when they have adequate English skills. This raises the question of how deportees’ individual characteristics and the local context of reception influence their (re)incorporation. This study, based on interviews with 34 Guatemalan deportees, reveals that deportees have varied trajectories, yet that the availability of call center jobs combined with deportees’ capacity and agency creates a bifurcation in labor market outcomes between deportees who secure jobs in call centers and those who do not.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View