Erika Julieta Rojas Ospina

Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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The Gendering of (In)Security in El Salvador: A study of “women’s” narratives of peace, community and policing

This PhD project is a study about everyday gendered experiences and practices of (in)security in El Salvador. The thesis focuses on ‘women’s’ subjective and embodied experiences, in relation to their communities and the police. The aim is to understand the gendered dynamics of (in)security in this country and to challenge its normative approach, re-thinking the ‘other’ and expanding the understanding of ‘lives that matter’.

In this research, I am interested in exploring the power structures operating behind the gendered and bodily experiences of (in)security as narrated by cis and queer women and men, and their relationships with the community and the police. With a special attention to the gendered narrative of ‘women’, as a way to open for a better understanding of the construction of masculinities and the human in Salvadorian society. The relevance of a critical feminist and queer theoretical approach is that the use of both allows me to expand and go beyond the normalized gendered analysis of the (in)security discourse in El Salvador. Critical feminist analysis and queer theory allow me to see the intersecting layers that connect power logic and politics and go beyond the essentialist dichotomy of the body as male or female, and gender as the performance of masculinity or femininity. Challenging the constructed social and political assumptions around this distinction. With the intention to explore new understandings of security while understanding the construction of human security in El Salvador and its implementation by the police.