La Violencia Adentro (Violence in the Interior): Gender Violence, Human Rights, and State-Community-NGO Relations in Coastal Ecuador
AdvisorGreen, Linda B.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoEmbargo: Release after 08/01/2013
AbstractBuilding on research conducted over the last ten years, this dissertation explores how local understandings and manifestations of gender violence are changing as women and men learn about human rights and gain access to state-based forms of justice. Wife abuse in coastal Ecuador is often explained as a result of machismo and an enduring culture of violence. I challenge this conception by demonstrating how political, economic and social processes normalize gender violence, and by showing how transnational human rights discourses are reshaping gender relations, structures of impunity, and the visibility of particular forms of violence. Inhabitants in this historically marginalized region are using alliances with transnational NGOs to negotiate their relationship to the state. Human rights, transnational alliances, and improved access to justice offer powerful openings for local women and families, but their empowering potential is delimited by growing social and economic vulnerability and the discrepancies between rights-based subjectivities and preexisting understandings of the self. Ultimately, I argue that human rights - as concept, as practice, and as discourse - reorganize power in ways that warrant both optimism and critique.
Degree ProgramGraduate College