Female Drug Smugglers Article.pdf

Female Drug Smugglers Article.pdf - Female Drug Smugglers...

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Female Drug Smugglers on the U-S.-Mexico Border: Gender, Crime, and Empowerment Author(s): Howard Campbell Reviewed work(s): Source: Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 1 (Winter, 2008), pp. 233-267 Published by: The George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30052745 . Accessed: 20/12/2012 18:56 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] . The George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Anthropological Quarterly. http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded on Thu, 20 Dec 2012 18:56:34 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
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SOCIAL THOUGHT & COMMENTARY Female Drug Smugglers on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Gender, Crime, and Empowerment Howard Campbell The University of Texas at El Paso Abstract Women's involvement in drug traffickingin recent years has expanded dra- matically. Yet there are few studies of female drug smugglers, the causes of female involvement in smuggling, and the impact of smuggling on women's lives specifically. In this article, I provide in-depth ethnographic interviews and observationsof a broad spectrumof female drug smugglers on the U.S.- Mexico border. Moving beyond stereotypes, I examine how drug trafficking affects women's relationships with men and their position in society. Economic and cultural factors strongly shape women's involvement in drug smuggling and the effects of smuggling on their lives, but these factors and effects vary significantly, depending on women's social class position and place within drug organizations. High-level female drug smugglers may be attracted to the power and mystique of drug trafficking and may achieve a relative independence from male dominance. Middle-level women in smuggling organizations obtain less freedom vis-a-vis men but may manip- ulate gender stereotypes to their advantage in the smuggling world. Low- level mules also perform (or subvert)traditional gender roles as a smuggling 233 This content downloaded on Thu, 20 Dec 2012 18:56:34 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
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Female Drug Smugglers on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Gender, Crime, and Empowerment strategy, but receive less economic benefit and less power, though in some cases some independence from male domestic control. A fourth category of women do not smuggle drugs but are negatively impacted by the male smugglers with whom they are associated.
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