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Title:“That’s why we always fight back”: Structural violence and women’s responses on a Native American reservation
Author(s):Morrow, Rebecca L.
Director of Research:Zerai, Assata
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Zerai, Assata
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Marshall, Anna-Maria; Mendenhall, Ruby; Denzin, Norman M.; Warrior, Robert
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Structural violence
violence against women
Native American studies
indigenous studies
resiliency and resistance strategies
Abstract:This project explores how women who live on a southern California reservation of the Kumeyaay Nation experience and respond to violence. Using a structural violence lens (Galtung 1969) enables a wider view of the definition of violence to include anything that limits an individual’s capabilities. Because the project used an inductive research method, the focus widened a study of intimate partner and family violence to the restrictions caused by the reservation itself, the dispute over membership and inclusion, and health issues that cause a decrease in life expectancy. From 2012 to 2018, I visited the reservation to participate in activities and interviewed 19 residents. Through my interactions, I found that women deploy resiliency strategies in support of the traditional meaning of Ipai/Tipai. This Kumeyaay word translates to “the people” to indicate that those who are participating are part of the community. By privileging the participants’ understanding of belonging, I found three levels of strategies, which I named inter-resiliency (within oneself), intra-resiliency (within the family or reservation) and inter-resiliency (within the large community of Kumeyaay or Native Americans across the country), but all levels exist within the strength gained from being part of the Ipai/Tipai. Sociological contributions include a richer description of the lived experiences of southern California Kumeyaay, agency of Native American women despite constraints of living on a reservation, and mechanisms associated with excess death among Native Americans. This dissertation attempts to encourage a centering of the participants so that strategies for interactions that will be more meaningful and effective.
Issue Date:2019-08-02
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Rebecca L. Morrow
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-03-02
Date Deposited:2019-12

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