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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Claiming the law: an ethnography of Bolivian women's access to justice and legal consciousness
Author(s): Rogers, Ashley Sarah Frances
Supervisor(s): Punch, Samantha
Munro, William
Keywords: Bolivia
Women's rights
Legal Consciousness
Latin America
Civil Society
Issue Date: Aug-2017
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: There have been a number of legal reforms in Bolivia since the first indigenous president, Evo Morales, came to power in 2006. In 2009 a New Constitution was enacted which included rights for women and expanded legal recognition of indigenous groups. In 2013, in order to address rising rates of violence against women, Law 348 to Guarantee Women a Life Free from Violence was established. Yet what meaning these legal changes have for Bolivian women is still unknown. This thesis explores Bolivian women’s legal consciousness and subjectivities in the context of these changes, particularly in relation to law concerning violence. Twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork was conducted in the city of La Paz, Bolivia, between October 2014 and October 2015. Participant observation in a women’s centre was the main field site, which offered the opportunities to gather women’s life stories and explore women’s narratives of the law. This was further supplemented with interviews with Civil Society Organisations and government in order to add different perspectives and further map the social structures of society that both constrain and enable meaning-making. This socio-legal ethnography presents women’s engagements with the law, and offers insights into women’s lived experiences of accessing justice and claiming rights, both directly and indirectly, as well as the influence that legality has on women’s legal subjectivity and their sense of self. Doing so provides a narrative of Bolivian women’s legal consciousness and reveals the meaning that law has for women in their everyday lives. Law works to shape the way they view themselves and their experiences as they engage with the processes of accessing justice. It can be concluded that law is a meaningful yet often contradictory presence in Bolivian women's everyday lives.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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