Haas Scholars

Joanna Cardenas

Girlz in the Hood: How Black and Brown Women Navigate the Streets of South Central Los Angeles

South Central Los Angeles has a long history of male-dominant gang affiliations, categorizing the city of Los Angeles as the gang capital of the nation. This led to excessive surveillance and sky-rocketing rates of male incarceration since the 1980s, making L.A. men jails the face of mass incarceration. Research is lacking, however, around the social and cultural understandings of Black and Brown women in South Centrals carceral landscape. Joanna, therefore, will analyze the way these social and cultural understandings ultimately affect the way South Central women navigate structures of state surveillance in their everyday life. By carrying out qualitative interviews with women in her community, Joanna’s work aims to highlight the way intersectionality across class and gender socially impact the experiences of women of color in South Central LA.

  • Major: African American Studies and Legal Studies
  • Mentor: Nikki Jones, African American Studies