First Advisor

Stephen Frenkel

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International & Global Studies: International Development and University Honors


International and Global Studies




Social integration, Social capital (Sociology), Online social networks -- Social aspects, Americans -- Mexico, Canadians -- Mexico, Facebook (Electronic resource)




North American expatriates in Mexico often live in enclaves or affluent communities at a fraction of what it would cost in the US or Canada. Despite living in Mexico for years, many expatriates are poorly integrated into Mexican culture and society. This integration is made more difficult because many are unable to speak Spanish fluently. Instead, expatriates rely on English language Facebook groups to help them navigate life in Mexico. While scholars have explored the intersections of communication and interculturalism in expatriate communities, comparatively few have explored how the internet and the presentation of self on social media (specifically Facebook) influence expatriates' relative integration or isolation. Using qualitative discourse analysis, this study focuses on five major Facebook groups for expatriates in Mexico to determine the different functions of these communities. The analysis suggests that expatriates use Facebook groups to compensate for their lack of networks and cross-cultural skills to enhance their outcomes and minimize the risks in a foreign country.


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