Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
BARCINSKI, Mariana. Agency and victimization in the trajectory of women involved in drug trafficking in Rio de Janeiro. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.2, pp. 577-586. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232009000200026.
The goal of the present article is to discuss the traditional victimization of women who get involved in criminal activities, focusing on agency and personal initiative as the main motivators. Through the discursive analysis of qualitative interviews with five women with a history in drug trafficking in Rio de Janeiro we sought to capture the dilemmas that characterize the ways in which these women justify their participation in a traditional male activity. At a micro level, the analysis focuses on the rhetoric efficacy of the different positions assumed by the participants1. At a macro level, the analysis investigates how the participants appropriate different discourses about womanhood in order to give sense to their personal histories2. The results show that the participants oscillate between appealing to external causes for justifying their choice (such as the lack of options characterizing the trajectory of marginalized populations and the personal involvement with criminal partners) and assuming responsibility for having been involved in drug trafficking. In this case, they often mention the power and respect they used to experience as traffickers as the main motivator for their criminal trajectory.
Keywords : Agency; Gender; Criminality; Discourse.