[OPE-L] new book: _Subsidizing Capitalism: Brickmakers on the US/Mexican Border_

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Sun Jun 12 2005 - 13:21:05 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tamar Diana Wilson" <tamardiana@yahoo.com>
Subject: My forthcoming book Subsidizing Capitalism

 Wilson, Tamar Diana. 2005. Subsidizing
Capitalism: Brickmakers on the U.S./Mexican Border.
 Albany: SUNY Press (Anthropology of Work series.
 Series editor June Nash).

        In Mexicali, as elsewhere in Mexico,brickmakers
 may labor at a piece-rate on brickyardsowned or
 rented-in by others, may rent-in brickyards,may become
 brickyard owners, and as owners orrenters-in may use
 unpaid family members and /oremployees to work for
 them.  There is thus a heterogeneous relation
 to the"means of production" in this informal
 sector activity.  The labor of wives and offspring may
 aid brickmakers to move from non-owner to
 ownership status.  The economic activities of
 self-employed brickmakers may be considered
 counterhegemonic in that they avoid proletarianization
 in the formal sector.Their production is subsumed by
 capitalism, however; their labor and the labor of
 their wives and children subsidizes capitalist
 enterprise by providing bricks to build tourist
 hotels, factories, bank and office buildings and
 shopping malls at a cost below that which would be
 acceptable for a brick factory run according to
 profit-making principles and hiringformalized labor.

 Combining Chayanovian and neo-Marxist approaches,
 Subsidizing Capitalism:  Brickmakers on
 theU.S./Mexican border discusses the
 similaritiesbetween peasants and brickmakers, the
 trajectory frompiece worker to petty commodity
 producer to petty capitalist, the economic value of
 women and children'swork as part of the family labor
 force, and how the neo-patriarchal household is
 intrinsic to petty commodity production.  It also
 compares the structural position of garbage pickers to
 brickmakers. An appendix compares the findings of the
 author withthose of Scott Cook, pioneer in the studies
 of the Mexican hand-made brick industry. Interspersed
 throughout the monograph are short stores and
 poems either giving the brickmakers' point of view, or
 presenting their lives in a format alternative to
 academic prose.  Twenty-three photographs are included.

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