Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Schaffer, Scott


This research examines the causes and impacts of victimization as experienced by rural populations displaced by conflict living in Quibdó, Colombia. It draws upon Bourdieu’s social theory to understand how the distribution of various forms of capital structure the lives of the displaced. A brief history of the conflict in Colombia is presented, which is broken into five periods, from 1946 to 2014 when the fieldwork was conducted. A description of the context of Quibdó and the department it is in, Chocó, is also provided. Particular attention is paid to the role of symbolic, economic, and cultural capital in the experiences of victimization, gendered vulnerabilities, and concepts of justice for the displaced. I argue that both symbolic and material forms of justice are needed to redress the harms caused by the conflict, to end victimization, and to prevent future vulnerability. I also elaborate on some of the fundamental links between transitional justice and development. My contributions are both substantive and theoretical; they are substantive by providing a context-based discussion of the priorities of some of the most vulnerable people in the world, poor displaced people living in Quibdó; and, they are theoretical as I look at the overall social framework within which victims’ social positions and associated vulnerabilities can be identified and better understood.