Bio


Professor Garcia’s work engages historical and institutional processes through which violence and suffering is produced and lived. A central theme is the disproportionate burden of addiction, depression and incarceration among poor families and communities. Her research is oriented toward understanding how attachments, affect, and practices of intimacy are important registers of politics and economy.

Garcia’s book, The Pastoral Clinic: Addiction and Dispossession Along The Rio Grande (University of California Press, 2010) received the 2012 Victor Turner Prize and a 2010 Pen Center USA Award. The Pastoral Clinic explores the relationship between intergenerational heroin use, poverty and colonial history in northern New Mexico. It argues that heroin addiction among Hispanos is a contemporary expression of an enduring history of dispossession, social and intimate fragmentation, and the existential desire for a release from these. Ongoing work in the U.S. explores processes of legal “re-entry” and intimate repair that incarcerated and paroled drug users undertake, particularly within kin networks.

Professor Garcia is currently engaged in research in Mexico City that examines emerging social and discursive worlds related to the dynamics of extreme urban poverty, mental illness and drug addiction in Mexico City, particularly within its peripheral zones.

Academic Appointments


  • Associate Professor, Anthropology

Program Affiliations


  • Center for Latin American Studies

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Harvard University, Social Anthropology (2007)
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, Anthropology (1997)

All Publications


  • Violence, addiction, recovery: An anthropological study of Mexico's anexos. Transcultural psychiatry Garcia, A., Anderson, B. 2016; 53 (4): 445-464

    Abstract

    Informal, coercive residential centers for the treatment of addiction are widespread and growing throughout Latin America. In Mexico these centers are called "anexos" and they are run and utilized by low-income individuals and families with problems related to drugs and alcohol. This article draws on findings from a 3-year anthropological study of anexos in Mexico City. Participant observation and in-depth interviews were used to describe and analyze anexos, their therapeutic practices, and residents' own accounts of addiction and recovery. Our findings indicate that poverty, addiction, and drug-related violence have fueled the proliferation of anexos They also suggest that anexos offer valuable health, social, and practical support, but risk exacerbating the suffering of residents through coercive rehabilitation techniques. Emphasizing this tension, this article considers the complex relationship between coercion and care, and poses fundamental questions about what drug recovery consists of in settings of poverty and violence.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1363461516662539

    View details for PubMedID 27535824

  • The Blue Years: An Ethnogrpahy of a Prison Archive Cultural Anthropology Garcia, A. 2016; 31 (4): 572-595

    View details for DOI 10.14506/ca31.4.06

  • Serenity: Violence, Inequality, and Recovery on the Edge of Mexico City MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY QUARTERLY Garcia, A. 2015; 29 (4): 455-472

    View details for DOI 10.1111/maq.12208

    View details for Web of Science ID 000368421600013

  • 'Spirituality' and 'cultural adaptation' in a Latino mutual aid group for substance misuse and mental health. BJPsych bulletin Anderson, B. T., Garcia, A. 2015; 39 (4): 191-195

    Abstract

    A previously unknown Spanish-language mutual aid resource for substance use and mental health concerns is available in Latino communities across the USA and much of Latin America. This kind of '4th and 5th step' group is a 'culturally adapted' version of the 12-step programme and provides empirical grounds on which to re-theorise the importance of spirituality and culture in mutual aid recovery groups. This article presents ethnographic data on this organisation.

    View details for DOI 10.1192/pb.bp.114.048322

    View details for PubMedID 26755953

  • The Promise: On the Morality of the Marginal and the Illicit ETHOS Garcia, A. 2014; 42 (1): 51-64

    View details for DOI 10.1111/etho.12038

    View details for Web of Science ID 000332924900005

  • Regeneration: Life, Drugs and the Remaking of Hispano Inheritance Social Anthropology Garcia, A. 2014; 22 (2): 200-212

    View details for DOI 10.1111/1469-8676.12070

  • The Elegiac Addict, Revisited Addiction Trajectories Garcia, A. edited by Garriott, W., Reikhel, E. Duke University Press. 2013
  • Scripting Addiction: The Politics of Therapeutic Talk and American Sobriety (Book Review) AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST Book Review Authored by: Garcia, A. 2012; 114 (1): 160-161
  • Suffering Without Health Insurance The Progressive Magazine Garcia, A. 2011; 31-32
  • Reading Righteous Dopefiend with My Mother Anthropology Now Garcia, A. 2010; 2 (3): 31-36
  • The Pastoral Clinic: Addiction and Dispossession Along the Rio Grande Garcia, A. University of California Press. 2010
  • The Elegiac Addict A Medical Anthropology Reader Garcia, A. edited by Good, B., Fischer, M., Willen, S., Good, M. D. Wiley-Blackwell. 2009
  • The Elegiac Addict: Addiction, Chronicity and the Melancholic Subject Cultural Anthropology Garcia, A. 2008; 23 (4): 718-746