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Expendable Bodies: The Struggle for Visibility

Expendable Bodies: The Struggle for Visibility

Prof. Rossana Reguillo (ITESO, Guadalajara, México)


In the context of predatory neoliberalism and the sociopolitical, economic and media control of “proprietary powers” over the public sphere, we see a rise in the criminalization, victimization and demonization of certain social bodies (indigenous peoples, marginalized youth, gays, migrants) that are thought of (and constructed) as evildoers, anomalies, dead weight, “deformities” that must be eliminated from the “healthy” and homogeneous social body. This work group will be a space for discussing, problematizing, and sharing research and intervention experiences on public space, with three main axes:

  • The recognition and analysis of the discursive political strategies that support the expendability of certain social bodies (Huntington regarding Mexicans in the USA; some Mexican elites regarding gays; certain male-chauvinist discourses about the women in Ciudad Juarez; certain police discourses on young people, etc.)
  • The effects that these strategies of exclusion-invisibility-criminalization generate in society, in the bodies themselves, and in the modes of interaction of social actors.
  • (Performative) strategies of social movements for breaking the wall of “invisibility” and the discussion about its symbolic and political efficacy.


Rossana Reguillo is Professor and researcher at the Department of Sociocultural Studies at ITESO, Guadalajara, Mexico. She earned her PhD in Social Sciences with a focus on Social Anthropology.