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Gender Violence at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Edited by Héctor Domínguez-Ruvalcaba and Ignacio Corona

Publication Year: 2010

The U.S.–Mexico border is frequently presented by contemporary media as a violent and dangerous place. But that is not a new perception. For decades the border has been constructed as a topographic metaphor for all forms of illegality, in which an ineffable link between space and violence is somehow assumed. The sociological and cultural implications of violence have recently emerged at the forefront of academic discussions about the border. And yet few studies have been devoted to one of its most disturbing manifestations: gender violence. This book analyzes this pervasive phenomenon, including the femicides in Ciudad Juárez that have come to exemplify, at least for the media, its most extreme manifestation.

Contributors to this volume propose that the study of gender-motivated violence requires interpretive and analytical strategies that draw on methods reaching across the divide between the social sciences and the humanities. Through such an interdisciplinary conversation, the book examines how such violence is (re)presented in oral narratives, newspaper reports, films and documentaries, novels, TV series, and legal discourse. It also examines the role that the media have played in this process, as well as the legal initiatives that might address this pressing social problem.

Together these essays offer a new perspective on the implications of, and connections between, gendered forms of violence and topics such as mechanisms of social violence, the micro-social effects of economic models, the asymmetries of power in local, national, and transnational configurations, and the particular rhetoric, aesthetics, and ethics of discourses that represent violence.

Published by: University of Arizona Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii

As coeditors, we wish to thank our respective institutions, the University of Texas at Austin and The Ohio State University, for their generous support of this book. We also thank the contributors to the volume and the following colleagues who, at one point or another, were part of the academic discussions that led to this work: ...

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Gender Violence: An Introduction

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pp. 1-12

In recent years the phenomenon of violence and its sociological and cultural implications has emerged at the forefront of academic discussions about the U.S.–Mexico border. And yet there are few serious studies devoted to one of its most disturbing manifestations: gender violence.1 ...

Part I: Oral Testimonies on Gender Violence

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1. Violence and Transvestite/Transgender Sex Workers in Tijuana

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pp. 14-34

Although femicides in Ciudad Ju

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2. We Never Thought It Would Happen to Us: Approaches to the Study of the Subjectivities of the Mothers of the Murdered Women of Ciudad Ju

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pp. 35-58

Patricia Ravelo Blancas analyzes the work of civic organizations and the testimonies of the mothers of the murdered women of Ciudad Ju

Part II: Audiovisual Representations of Gender Violence

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3. Death on the Screen: Imagining Violence in Border Media

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pp. 60-78

By analyzing the images of violence constructed by diverse local and binational television broadcasts, chapter 3, by H

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4. Representations of Femicide in Border Cinema

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pp. 79-102

In this chapter María Socorro Tabuenca Córdoba analyzes how the victimization of women in Ciudad Juárez is represented in recent Mexican films. As with other chapters in this book, Tabuenca’s work addresses the problematical representation of violence and its cultural and political implications. ...

Part III: Representations of Gender Violence in the Print Media

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5. Over Their Dead Bodies: Reading the Newspapers on Gender Violence

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pp. 104-127

This chapter studies the journalistic representation of violence in Ciudad Ju

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6. Women in the Global Machine: Patrick Bard’s La frontera, Carmen Galán Benitez’s Tierra marchita, and Alicia Gasparde Alba’s Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders

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pp. 128-152

In this chapter Miguel L

Part IV: The Legal Status of Femicides

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pp. 154-176

James C. Harrington addresses one of the central concerns regarding femicides in Mexico: the difficulties of enforcement of human rights laws along the border, specifically those related to such violations as negligence, falsification of evidence, and false accusations. Harrington deals with the role of international institutions of justice ...


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pp. 177-192

About the Contributors

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pp. 193-196


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pp. 197-200

E-ISBN-13: 9780816501120
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816527120

Publication Year: 2010