La Violencia en Las Sombras: Epistemic Violence in The United States Immigration System and Its Implications
Name: Hannah Baker
Majors: Political Science, Spanish
Advisors: Michele Leiby, Cynthia Palmer
The United States immigration system perpetuates epistemic violence against immigrants. Epistemic violence is a form of symbolic violence that deals with the processes of denying, silencing, and reducing knowledge. Within the concept of epistemic violence, I identified three main modes: dehumanization, criminalization, and removal of agency. These modes were defined by existing literature and then identified in the immigration system through interviews. I conducted five interviews with professionals in the immigration field and then coded for the modes of epistemic violence in their various subsequent forms. All three modes of epistemic violence were exemplified in the interview responses. These findings prove that the United States immigration system perpetuates harm.
It is important to acknowledge that the epistemic violence discussed, analyzed, and exemplified in this project is very real and very present in the lives of people across the United States. The issues with the immigration system are not just frustratingly high standards for relief and painstakingly long wait times for visas but the perpetuation of real violence against the people it was created to assist. Epistemic violence is a form of hidden violence, but its countless negative impacts are not something we can afford to leave hidden.
El sistema de inmigración de los Estados Unidos perpetúa la violencia epistemológica contra los inmigrantes. La violencia epistemológica es una forma de violencia simbólica que está presente en los procesos de la negación, el silenciamiento y la reducción del conocimiento. Los tres modos principales de violencia epistemológica, deshumanización, la criminalización y la eliminación de a fueron definidos e identificados en el sistema de inmigración por parte de entrevistas. En el proceso de entrevistar a cinco personas, quienes son profesionales en el campo de la inmigración, se codificaron los modos de violencia epistemológica en sus diversas categorías. Los tres modos de violencia epistemológica fueron ejemplificados en las respuestas de las entrevistas. La implicación de estos resultados es que el sistema de inmigración de los Estados Unidos perpetúa perjudica.
Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2023 on April 13, 2023.
5 responses to “La Violencia en Las Sombras: Epistemic Violence in The United States Immigration System and Its Implications”
Related Areas of Study
Language, histories, literature, and cultures of Spanish-speaking countriesMajor Minor
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Yea Go Hannah, we are so proud of you. Way to go on completing your IS. I am so excited to see what you do next
This is wonderful. Thank you for this important work.
I love this thoughtful exploration. This sentence was very illuminating: “the issues with the immigration system are not just frustratingly high standards for relief and painstakingly long wait times for visas but the perpetuation of real violence against the people it was created to assist.”
Question: why do many Wooster students have a huge blow-up pool toy Tootsie Roll with them in their photos? It looks fun… but is there a connect?
Another question: how did you find your professionals in the immigration field? Did they all do similar work? Do immigration lawyers have different perspectives than a border patrol agent? Or is their general agreement from the people in this field that the system is broken?