Social Justice & Archaeology for HCPCP

One of the most obvious forms of marginalization and/or inequality for this project is the subconscious signals that are sent whenever you hear the word ‘pauper’. In my own experience, I have seen the word used in contexts that are meant to be little and have negative connotations attached to it. An instance of this can be seen in the princess and the pauper, where the pauper is made to be dirty and live in the deplorable conditions, and while this may have been the way that paupers used to live once upon a time, it it not necessarily true for the people living in current times in the U.S. Because the name of the cemetery we are conducting is called Hidalgo County Pauper Cemetery, I believe that we should be focusing attempting to show the community that even though it is called a Pauper’s Cemetery, the people there are more than just the word itself. Though the people buried at this cemetery were not people who cannot afford private cemeteries, does not necessarily that they deserve to be thought of or treated differently than people buried at private cemeteries. However, to the best of my knowledge, in this project we are not doing anything to combat the negative connotations that come with the word, but by doing nothing we are allowing the word to maintain it’s negative connotations.

0 thoughts on “Social Justice & Archaeology for HCPCP

  1. Yes! The cemetery is commonly and historically referred to as a “pauper” cemetery, but on some of the new signage from the county it is referred to as the “Hidalgo County Public Cemetery”. Adopting such a name change more broadly could be an important step in removing any stigma attached to having family buried there.

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