Narco Culture Analysis

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Many news headlines around the world use the term narco culture to describe the drug trafficking, the rich and powerful drug lords, the violence and murders happening in the communities of Northern Mexico. I used to think narco culture is caused by greedy drug lords, but after reading Shaylih Muehlmann’s When I Wear My Alligator Boots ethnography, I realized that drug lords are one of many byproducts of narco culture caused by the shared experiences of the men and women living in drug trafficking communities of Northern Mexico. Narco culture is a term that cannot be described in words. It is something that can only be experienced through participant observation and the cross examination of research associated with the study of narco-culture.…show more content…
Since 2005, Muehlmann has spent many years conducting fieldwork on several fishing communities in Northern Mexico. (Muehlmann 2014:11) These communities are at the center of the drug trafficking economy and they are used as pit stops for transporting narcotics to the United States. (Muehlamann 2014:5) From my perspective the reason Muehlamann chose these specific sites to conduct her research in are due to the media’s interpretation of narco culture. Muehlmann 's main argument in her research is that “narco culture” does not represent the media’s interpretation of a romanticized lifestyle of the rich and powerful drug lords. (Muehlamann 2014:7) She states that narco-culture represents the everyday lives of men and women in drug trafficking communities and not the lifestyles of the rich and powerful drug lords. (Muehlmann 2014:11) Throughout the When I Wear My Alligator Boots ethnography, Muehlmann supports her main argument by describing key features associated with the formation of narco culture. She states the formation of narco-culture is caused by the economic changes of the Northern Mexican region, the cultural symbology of narco culture, the gender roles of men and women associated in “narco culture”, and the calculated risks these men and women…show more content…
The media does not report on the everyday lives of ordinary people living in drug trafficking communities because the media is concerned with coverage of famous drug lord who use violent tactics on innocent people to protect their drug trafficking endeavors. In order to study a particular culture like narco culture, it is important to understand that every individual has a distinct role within the culture and it cannot be examined solely on several individuals from one social class. After reading the ethnography, I realized that one of the reasons Muehlemann conducted research on narco culture was to focus specifically on the economic opportunities available in the drug trafficking industry based on gender differences. Women are not represented in narco culture as much as men in the media. However, it is important to understand that women in narco culture have important roles in the drug trafficking industry. Women associated with narco culture are more economically and emotionally vulnerable than men. This vulnerability is due to the high rates of incarceration and deaths of males. Coming from a traditional Mexican household, I learned that men are often the economic provider for their families. Women who lose their husbands or any male kin will lose their main source of income and

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