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Gender on the Run: Wanted Latinas in a southern California Barrio

Tue, August 15, 12:30 to 2:10pm, Palais des congrès de Montréal, Floor: Level 5, 512F


Over the last thirty years there has been a growing criminal justice presence in communities of color in the U.S. Recent research on this system of social control has demonstrated how African-American Men who live is segregated neighborhoods are disproportionately affected by their legal standing, especially in their attempts to avoid imprisonment when “on the run.” However, missing from this analysis is the inclusion of how the intersection of race, class, gender and other identities shape our understanding of being “on the run.” Building on work in this area we focus on the unique and understudied experiences that young Latinas face while attempting to avoid rearrests and recidivism within a working-class Latina/o barrio. Using two years of ethnographic research and over fifty in-depth semi-structured interviews with young Latinas in southern California, we find these young women continuously encounter the threat of imprisonment and gendered structural violence on the streets. This in turn shapes how these young people of color negotiate being “on the run.” Our work provides an in-depth and unique understanding of how Latinas manage their lives in the continually expanding criminal justice system. Moreover, this research speaks to the small but growing amount of work that address how social control has reshaped the structural arrangements around the community, the family, and work as the threat of imprisonment has increasingly affected the lives of Latinas in the U.S.