The Transnational "Good Life"

Ecuadorian Social Clubs as Spaces of Resistance

By Linda Jean Hall

The Transnational

124 pp., 5.5 x 8.5, 12 images, notes

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6250-3
    Published: August 2020

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute for the Study of the Americas

The Transnational “Good Life” is an ethnographic study of the founding and maintenance of social organizations by emigrants from Ecuador in politically contested U.S. public spaces. By following in the footsteps of W. E. B. Du Bois who coined the term “double consciousness,” this book posits that racialization, an inherent characteristic of Global Apartheid, uniquely influenced the construction of complex Ecuadorian migrant identities in the U.S. The thematic focus is on the intersection of the empowerment produced in the social clubs with the desire of individual members to acquire the American Dream and the good life. This is an “anthropology of the good,” which brings to the forefront the lived experiences of immigrants claiming a high level of pre-migratory preparedness and success in the U.S. The Transnational “Good Life” is an analysis of evolving relationships within and outside the loosely connected network of Ecuadorian social clubs in the unique cultural milieus of Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City.

About the Author

Linda Jean Hall is an activist and a cultural anthropologist who received her doctorate from the University of California, Riverside. As a lecturer at UCLA, UC Riverside, and Cal Poly, Hall teaches courses in anthropology and global studies. She is the author of a memoir, Three Rivers Crossed.
For more information about Linda Jean Hall, visit the Author Page.


“Linda Hall has written a compelling ethnography of immigrant experiences in the United States. Her keen ethnographic insights, persuasive theoretical framing, and well-written narrative present us with a unique and important contribution to the field. It effectively sits at the intersection of two bodies of theory: ideas about Latino diasporic immigration and the logic found in classic Afro American analyses about transnational migrant marginalization. This is a significant study that breaks new methodological ground and will be an important reference point for future work on immigration.”--Marc Becker, author of The CIA in Ecuador and Pachakutik: Indigenous Movements and Electoral Politics in Ecuador

“Linda Hall has done a masterful job in giving us a fine grained and nuanced understanding of how and why Ecuadorian immigrants migrate and how they adapt and thrive in three different cities in the United States. Through the theoretical lens of W.E.B. Dubois’ Double Consciousness framework, the author explains Ecuadorian notions of identity, solidarity and belonging in Los Angeles, New York City and Miami. She looks at these issues of solidarity, identity and belonging through long established Ecuadorian social organizations in each city. The book also investigates the diversity of the missions of these social clubs and how they have changed over time, not only to support Ecuadorians but also other marginalized immigrant and non-immigrant groups in those cities. This book is a timely addition to the anthropological literature because it not only focusers on the voices of Ecuadorians but showcases the diversity of that group including Mestizos and Afro-Ecuadorians.”--Yolanda Moses, Professor of Anthropology, University of California Riverside