In this article, I propose the notion of "bodyscapes" as a way to understand the connections between the processes of globalization and the emerging forms of social violence in Mexico. A bodyscape enables us to explore the specific locus of the body within the social processes that begin or transform globalization. I have selected three extreme bodyscapes to analyze in this text: the serial murders of women in Ciudad Juárez, decapitations related to drug trafficking, and the mutilations suffered by certain migrants as they travel through Mexico to the United States. These bodyscapes enable me to postulate the notion of negative anatomo-politics, which I understand as the coordination of the disciplinary effects and social control of an abnormalization strategy that works through new uses of social violence and an unsymbolizable residue: "cruelty" with no ideological or utilitarian basis. I hold that the lack of a utilitarian basis is a power strategy linked to cruelty that seeks to make various social groups vulnerable, such as women, indigenous people, and young adults, through extreme violence and overall impunity.
Social Text – Duke University Press
Published: Sep 1, 2010