Internal Exiles: Displaced Colombian Mothers’ Narratives of Crianza
Satizabal Parra, Katherine
In Colombia, the politics and violence of a mostly rural and remote internal armed conflict have spanned decades, displacing millions of women into internal exile in the large cities. There, they must fend for survival and integration into urban Colombian society, while trying to build a future for their children. This thesis explores the similarities and differences in the ways displaced Colombian mothers represent and (re)imagine crianza –Spanish term for parenting or child rearing – through the disruptions and continuities of internal exile, accounting for challenges (e.g., loss of property and livelihoods, social and emotional uprooting, stigma) as well as facilitators (e.g., agency to reconstruct life projects, flexibility in crianza, experiencing displacement as a positive and empowering experience). Twelve displaced, formerly rural, women were interviewed in the City of Cali. Grounded in a social constructionist paradigm, this qualitative narrative study indicates that mothers’ experiences of crianza under forced displacement vary a great deal. Cultural background, family structure, mothering identity, the ecology of relocation, and the overall meanings associated with forced displacement influence women’s disrupting and empowering journeys, contributing to a sense of continuity in their lives following displacement. Understanding the conditions under which a diverse group of displaced Colombian mothers must rear their children, and distinguishing the range of their varying needs, can help to improve psychosocial supports and services made available to them – particularly at this time as Colombia has been embarking on the first steps of a peace process.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
ProgramCulture and Human Development
CommitteeMcMullen, Linda; Downe, Pamela; Poudrier, Jennifer
Copyright DateOctober 2016