Human Rights on the U.S.-Mexico Border: The Work of Cultivating Imagined Empathy

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/594940
Title:
Human Rights on the U.S.-Mexico Border: The Work of Cultivating Imagined Empathy
Author:
Araibi, Reyna Imad
Issue Date:
2015
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
As thousands of undocumented migrants continue to die and disappear in the borderlands of the U.S., human rights NGOs are struggling to mobilize a socially and geographically distant American audience to see this crisis as a human rights matter and act upon it with according urgency and gravity. But why, in the face of immense human suffering on the border, have we not recognized this as a human rights crisis? Furthermore, how can human rights NGOs working on the border address this debilitating challenge? This thesis draws on the historical development of human rights concepts in 18th century Europe as well as on contemporary discourse around ethical humanitarian communication to argue that suffering is only seen as a human rights issue when feelings of imagined empathy are cultivated within distant audiences. Imagined empathy is cultivated through particular practices of representing suffering, practices that focus on the individual autonomy and emotion of the subject, enabling viewers to see themselves in community with the otherwise distant "other". The work of human rights NGOs trying to use human rights to affect social and political change is to, in their positions as witnesses and partners with primary communities, represent suffering to cultivate imagined empathy. The question then remains, what are the specific practices of representation that cultivate imagined empathy and why are they so fundamental to human rights NGO communication?
Type:
text; Electronic Thesis
Degree Name:
B.S.
Degree Level:
bachelors
Degree Program:
Honors College; Public Management and Policy
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Dovi, Suzanne

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleHuman Rights on the U.S.-Mexico Border: The Work of Cultivating Imagined Empathyen_US
dc.creatorAraibi, Reyna Imaden
dc.contributor.authorAraibi, Reyna Imaden
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractAs thousands of undocumented migrants continue to die and disappear in the borderlands of the U.S., human rights NGOs are struggling to mobilize a socially and geographically distant American audience to see this crisis as a human rights matter and act upon it with according urgency and gravity. But why, in the face of immense human suffering on the border, have we not recognized this as a human rights crisis? Furthermore, how can human rights NGOs working on the border address this debilitating challenge? This thesis draws on the historical development of human rights concepts in 18th century Europe as well as on contemporary discourse around ethical humanitarian communication to argue that suffering is only seen as a human rights issue when feelings of imagined empathy are cultivated within distant audiences. Imagined empathy is cultivated through particular practices of representing suffering, practices that focus on the individual autonomy and emotion of the subject, enabling viewers to see themselves in community with the otherwise distant "other". The work of human rights NGOs trying to use human rights to affect social and political change is to, in their positions as witnesses and partners with primary communities, represent suffering to cultivate imagined empathy. The question then remains, what are the specific practices of representation that cultivate imagined empathy and why are they so fundamental to human rights NGO communication?en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Thesisen
thesis.degree.nameB.S.en
thesis.degree.levelbachelorsen
thesis.degree.disciplineHonors Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplinePublic Management and Policyen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorDovi, Suzanneen
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