Invisible geographies: a study of migration and male homoeroticism in Tijuana through Spinozist affects

Rodrigo Perez Toledo

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Affect-based studies consider that peoples’ lives and behaviors cannot be entirely grasped and understood by rational choice models. The main goal of this article is to understand how factors like sexuality and migration affect the relations between people and spaces. Following Spinoza’s Ethics and subsequent interpretations, the article considers that bodies are influenced by previous interactions and act accordingly, and that space is a relational mode of substance perceived through attributes and modes affecting individuals and articulating the relationship of space, sexuality, and migration. This research studies same-sex-attracted men who moved to Tijuana, Mexico. Results show that affects (expressed through actions and passions) inform people’s relations to space based on their valorization of life events and expectations; that the meanings of space are personally constructed, relational, volatile, and invisible to others; and that most interviewees didn’t feel comfortable avowing to the gay identity but identified themselves as such, since, to some extent, gayness can escape from the moral stigma of male-male interaction in Latin America.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-611
Number of pages17
JournalLatin American Research Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • affects
  • Spinoza
  • migration
  • Tijuana
  • male homoeroticism
  • gay men


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