Children, Motherhood, and the Routinization of Pain and Sacrifice

Cecilia Menjívar

in Enduring Violence

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267664
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948419 | DOI:
Children, Motherhood, and the Routinization of Pain and Sacrifice

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This chapter concentrates on the San Alejo ladinas as mothers. It places emphasis on the self-denial and suffering their identity carries without relying on the uncritical binary of women as abnegadas (self-sacrificing). Focusing on the centrality of motherhood, this chapter examines the complexities of the women's experiences of reproduction such as fecundity, birth, children, and child rearing that expose the convergence of the multiple forms of violence in their lives. Rather than link their suffering and pain to the myth of marianismo and other cultural constructs, this chapter traces the association between their sacrifices and the structures of inequality that support their suffering. It exposes the mothers' sufferings that come from structural violence, which leaves them and their children without access to good-quality health care; from the political violence that has affected the entire country and contributed to the cheapening of life and the promotion of violence; and from the hidden injuries of gender, gendered and symbolic violence behind gender ideologies, and internalized inequalities. It also discusses the violence that enters the picture indirectly or inner subterfuge of language and quotidian practices.

Keywords: mothers; suffering; self-denial; sacrifices; inequality; structural violence; marianismo

Chapter.  15454 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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