Chapter 6 Discussion Questions and Suggested Activities

Chapter 6 Discussion Questions and Suggested Activities

Rosario: Coping with a Husband's Return

Discussion Questions

1. What is structural violence? To what extent does the concept of structural violence explain migratory outcomes? To what extent do people’s personal decision-making explain these outcomes?

2.  This chapter reports on research that shows people in the United States are more likely to consume drugs and alcohol than Mexicans. Yet in the United States, stereotypes of drunk Mexicans persist. Based on this chapter’s discussion of alcohol in Mexican history, how does drinking in Mexico differ from drinking in the United States? How might this difference create a misunderstanding, leading to an inaccurate stereotype, regarding the extent to which Mexicans drink?

3. This book argues that international migration must be understand through three frameworks operating simultaneously: people’s personal preferences, the repertoire at their disposal, and the global structures that encourage or discourage movement. Could a similar framework apply to alcohol consumption? Does alcohol abuse also lie at the intersection of the personal, the cultural, and global structures?

4. What are some of the resources in their repertoire that women in Calakmul can access to counter an emigrant man’s problem drinking, infidelity, or physical abuse? How effective are these resources in comparison to the factors motivating men’s behavior?

Personal reflection

Do your personal relationships suffer when one person is absent for a long time? Why or why not? How do you reconnect with friends and family after being apart?

Do Americans also associate travel with increased alcohol or drug consumption? If so, what sorts of travel? To where? What benefits might accrue to a person from their family and friends for participating in travel-related doping?



1. Human emotions are complicated, such that love is not always neatly distinguishable from abuse. Read the post “Why Do I Love my Abuser?” in which the National Domestic Violence Hotline explores this complicated terrain. The Domestic Violence Resource Center also offers this guide to Understanding Domestic Violence. These material draw on U.S. cultural perspectives. How do you think Calakmuleños might respond to these descriptions?

2.  One difference between Mexico and the United States that migrant men frequently mention is a greater intolerance in the United States for domestic violence. In Mexico, just 1% of crimes are investigated by police. Search the summary reports published by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey to get an overview of domestic violence in your home state. Compare those findings with the global overview of intimate partner violence provided by the World Health Organization.

3. What resources are available to people of all ages and genders who experience domestic violence? Explore the resources listed by the Domestic Violence Resource Center and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. What sorts of changes would be required to prevent or eliminate domestic violence altogether?

Back to top