Social Networks That Promote Well-Being Among Latino Migrant Day Laborers


  • Nalini Junko Negi University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Lynn Michalopoulos University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Javier Boyas The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Adrianna Overdorff University of Maryland, Baltimore



Day laborers, Latino migrants, social services, transnational migrants


Latino migrant day laborers are a transnational population that often travels back and forth between borders in search of economic opportunities. These Latino day laborers (LDLs) are often at risk for exploitation and worker's rights abuses. Despite LDLs' heightened social vulnerability and risks, this population often does not access formal social or public health services due to their undocumented legal status, lack of health insurance and distrust of governmental social services. In light of LDLs' lack of access to formal services, social networks may enhance and protect their well-being and health through the exchange of emotional and social support, as well as the provision of concrete and practical services. Utilizing Berkman, Glass, Brissette, and Seeman's (2000) conceptual framework on social networks and health, this ethnographic study investigates the role of social networks in facilitating the well-being of LDLs (N=150). Implications for social services for this transnational population are also discussed.

Author Biographies

Nalini Junko Negi, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Assistant Professor School of Social Work

Lynn Michalopoulos, University of Maryland, Baltimore

PhD Candidate

Javier Boyas, The University of Texas at Arlington

Ph.D., M.S.W.

Adrianna Overdorff, University of Maryland, Baltimore