inTroduCTion Neoliberal Securityscapes
1 Robinson, Transnational Conflicts, 88–89.
2 I use the term “youth” to refer to both minors and young adults. I do so because,
while gang-affiliated Salvadoran immigrants should only be deported for criminal
offenses committed as adults, they are generally brought into the criminal justice
system while they are still minors. In addition, although adulthood begins at age
eighteen in the United States, the United Nations General Assembly has defined
“youth” as those persons falling between the ages of 15 and 24 years, inclusively.
Within the category of “youth” they distinguish between teenagers (13–19) and
young adults (20–24). Individual countries use slightly different variations of this
age range. For instance, in El Salvador the planning group for the Youth Law (dis-
cussed in chapter 5) was age 30.
3 Menjívar and Rodríguez, When States Kill, 3–27.
4 For a discussion of the first point, see Weldes et al., Cultures of Insecurity. For an ex-
ploration of militarism, see Gusterson, People of the Bomb, xxi.
5 I use the term “Salvadoran (immigrant) youth” to refer to both those who have and
have not immigrated to the United States. My use of the word “friction” alludes to
Anna Tsing’s work in Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection.
6 See Pratt, “Why the Virgin of Zapopan Went to Los Angeles.” Globalization and
transnationalism are still both highly contentious terms and concepts. Anna
Tsing in her essay “The Global Situation” offered one of the most cogent early cri-
tiques of this turn to the global and the seduction of what she terms “global futur-
ism.” She rightly argued that we should not accept globalization as a definitional
characteristic of an era without examining and locating these global dreams and
projects ethnographically (342). Exasperated with the quickness by anthropolo-
gists to adopt David Harvey’s teleology of capitalism and its contemporary cul-
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