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(Not So) Fluid Borders, (Not So) Fluid Identities : Time, Space, and Social Categories in Tijuana Drug Rehabilitation Centers


Every person is part of a community in which resides the foundational information for understanding the geographically, politically, historically, and culturally variant concepts of time, space, motives, and norms (Hollan 2014). Life along the United States-México (US-MX) border is an estuary of these sociocultural concepts and ideals characterized by (not so) fluid borders. The recent proliferation of faith-based (evangelical) and secular/ spiritual (Narcotics Anonymous (NA)/Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)) rehabilitation centers in Tijuana, Mexico exemplifies this unequal amalgamation of traits and behaviors that define the social category "drug addict" in the US-MX border zone. While several different rehabilitation rhetorics occur, paradoxically, they all result in a similar type of highly structured time-space management, yielding a precarious (Jenkins 2014) being-in- the-world (Csordas N.d.) after rehabilitation. The lived experience of internos, inpatients in Tijuana's rehabilitation centers, shaped by the stigmatized social category of the "drug addict," informs what it means to be a productive member of society in the US-MX border zone, and circumscribes their possibilities of achieving it. By focusing on how the stigmatized social category "drug addict" influences identity formation for internos, particularly in relation to how this category impacts themselves and their possibilities for the future, this thesis analyzes the effect of social norms and techniques for time-space management on the afterlife of therapy (Meyers 2013). Thus, this thesis seeks to illuminate the links between identity, social categories, time-space, and drug treatment in a critique of therapy offered in the US- MX border zone

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