By Cecilia Menjívar
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Additional info for Enduring Violence: Ladina Women's Lives in Guatemala
This approach reveals the systematic patterns of disadvantage that are neither natural nor necessary (cf. 2 Farmer (2003, 2004) warns against conflating poverty and cultural difference, for example; in his view, the linkage of assaults on human dignity to the cultural institutions of a particular society constitutes an abuse of cultural concepts. He (2004) then cautions that such an approach is especially insidious because cultural difference as a form of essentialism is used to explain suffering and assaults on dignity.
One woman in the Altiplano did not want to be tape-recorded but agreed to the interview. Two women in San Alejo asked me to turn off the tape recorder while we conversed about issues they did not want me to record (and thus are not part of this book). I followed up my initial interviews with visits to the same women on average once a year in both towns. I went to their homes, walked in the streets where we would converse, attended church and temples, and spent time in the places where they conducted their daily lives.
It was not my aim to look for violence; instead, the women pointed it out to me. It was their own narratives and my close listening to what they were telling me that eventually led me to an examination of violence in their lives. Approaching Violence in Eastern Guatemala | 17 I was participating in a project whose objective was to study how women’s informal networks help them deal with pregnancy-related health care and with their children’s illnesses, both in Maya and in ladino towns. I had been interested in immigrant informal networks and how individuals perceive their participation in them; joining a project in Guatemala offered me an opportunity to do a comparative study of networks in the home country with networks among immigrants from the same communities in the United States (I also did fieldwork among Guatemalan women in Los Angeles as part of this project).
Enduring Violence: Ladina Women's Lives in Guatemala by Cecilia Menjívar