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Subsidizing Capitalism
Brickmakers on the U.S.-Mexican Border
Subsidizing Capitalism
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Tamar Diana Wilson - Author
SUNY series in the Anthropology of Work
Price: $55.00 
Hardcover - 227 pages
Release Date: July 2005
ISBN10: 0-7914-6507-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6507-3

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Customers outside the US/Canada purchase here
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 227 pages
Release Date: June 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6508-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6508-0

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Examines the economic activities of self-employed brickmakers and the unpaid family members and others who assist them in Mexico.

In Mexico, self-employed brickmakers support capitalist enterprise by providing bricks to build hotels, factories, office buildings, and shopping malls at costs lower than those based on profit-making principles. Combining Chayanovian and neo-Marxist approaches, Subsidizing Capitalism asserts that the economic activities of these self-employed brickmakers may be considered counterhegemonic because they avoid proletarianization in the formal sector. Tamar Diana Wilson discusses the similarities between peasants and brickmakers, the structural position of garbage pickers in relation to brickmakers, the trajectory from piece worker to petty commodity producer to petty capitalist, the economic value of women's and children's work as part of the family labor force, and how the neopatriarchal household is intrinsic to petty commodity production. Interspersed throughout are short stories and poems that offer the brickmakers' perspectives and provide a rarely seen look into their lives.

“…the book provides an important addition to the literature on the informal economy … Its clear and concise manner makes it useful in courses on the anthropology of work, urban anthropology, and poverty.” — Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

"The real strength of Wilson's contribution is ethnographic and humanistic; she strongly identifies with the lives and struggles of her subjects and knows their personal trials, tribulations, and more positive life experiences/trajectories well." — Scott Cook, author of Understanding Commodity Cultures: Explorations in Economic Anthropology with Case Studies from Mexico

"The originality of the book consists of showing the processes of class transformation across intergenerational lines in the brickmaking trade, questioning recent interpretations of the informal economy in Latin America as counterhegemonic, and providing a gender angle to the study of brickmaking." — Christian Zlolniski, University of Texas at Arlington

Tamar Diana Wilson is Research Affiliate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Missouri at St. Louis.


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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. “The Ladrillera”

2. Approaches to the “Informal Sector” and to the Brickmakers of Mexicali

3. Petty Commodity Producers in the Informal Sector: The Peasant Adaptation of the Brickmakers in Popular, Mexicali

4. “The Old Brickmaker, 1993”

5. “Invisible” Women and Children Workers on the Mexicali Brickyards

6. “Mexicali Brickmaker’s Wife”

7. Gender Considerations among the Brickmakers

8. “Brickmaker’s Daughter, Brickmaker’s Wife”

9. The Heterogeneity of Subsidies to the Capitalist System: The Case of the Garbage Pickers

10. Are the Brickmakers Counterhegemonic?

11. “Don Rafael’s Desire”

Epilogue

Appendix: Scott Cook and I: Ambiguity and Ambivalence in Approaches to Brickmaking

Notes
References
Index



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44072/44073(LC/DG/MC)

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