Subsidizing Capitalism

Subsidizing Capitalism : Brickmakers on the U.S.-Mexican Border

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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 227 pages
  • 155.96 x 239.27 x 19.3mm | 445g
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • Total Illustrations: 0
  • 0791465071
  • 9780791465073

Review quote

"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."
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About Tamer Diana Wilson

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