Corporeal Dimensions of Gender Violence: Ladina’s Self and Body in Eastern Guatemala

Studies in Social Justice. 2008;2(1):12-26


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Studies in Social Justice

ISSN: 1911-4788 (Online)

Publisher: Brock University

Society/Institution: Social Justice Research Institute

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology

Country of publisher: Canada

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Cecilia Menjívar


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 10 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Based on 30 in-depth interviews with Ladina women and field work conducted in a rural town in eastern Guatemala, I examine the physical expressions that violence can take on the women's bodies, such as common physical ailments that result from emotional distress as well as sicknesses that are caused directly by the conditions in which they live. A central theme in the discussion is the embodiment of violence as it is expressed in the control of the women's body in the social milieu, such as the control of their socializing and visiting. I use a sociologically- and anthropologically-informed lens to situate corporeal questions within structures of social inequalities and human suffering and, thus, this examination contributes to debates about the relationship between body and society, macro and micro processes in the social world, as well as explorations between the women's lives and their rights. As such, this examination permits to unveil embedded structures of violence that assault the women's dignity and provoke suffering, as well as those instances in which gender solidarity is created. This examination allows us to explore implications for gender-based social justice.