Decency and Excess: Global Aspirations and Material Deprivation on a Caribbean Sugar Plantation

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Oktober 2007



Based on periodic ethnographic fieldwork over a span of fifteen years, Martinez shows how impoverished plantation dwellers find ways of coping with the alienation that would be expected while laboring to produce goods for the richer countries. Despite living in dire poverty, these workers live in a thoroughly commodified social environment. Ritual, eroticism, electronic media, household adornment, payday-weekend "binging" are ways even chronically poor plantation residents dream beyond reality. Yet plantation residents' efforts to live decently and escape from the dead hand of necessity also deepen existing divisions of ethnic identity and status. As the divide between "haves" and "have-nots" worsens as a result of neoliberal reform and the decline of sugar in international markets, this book reveals on an intenselyhuman scale the coarsening of the social fabric of this and other communities of the world's poorer nations.


Chapter One: Introduction Chapter Two: A Place No One Calls 'Home': The Plantation and Modernity Chapter Three: Living in Nowhere Chapter Four: Commodit 36a y Consumption in a Globalizing Age Chapter Five: An Indecent Life Chapter Six: Places and Flows Chapter Seven: High Times in Hard Times Chapter Eight: Material Passions: Batey Dwellers in the World of Good Chapter Nine: The Hot and the Cold Chapter Ten: Conclusions


Samuel Martinez, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Connecticut, is the author of Peripheral Migrants: Haitians and Dominican Republic Sugar Plantations (University of Tennessee Press, 1996).


"Decency and Excess is a plantation ethnography comparable in terms of richness of observational detail with some of the best examples of this genre... Martinez traces the contours of a fresh and potentially highly significant critique of capitalism emerging from an unexpected location: that of an eroticization of waste, rather than the fetishization of objectified value. Decency and Excess presents considerable challenges that will be noted not just in Caribbean studies but the anthropology of material culture and consumption, and one would hope in the discipline at large."Dr. Stephan Palmie, University of Chicago."Finely tuned to meaning and materiality, to everyday practices and global processes, Martinez has made a prescient, masterful case for the return of political economy, back from its banishment to the margins of anthropological theory."Prof. Charles R. Hale, President, Latin American Studies Association (May 2006-October 2007) and Professor of Anthropology, University of Texas, Austin.
EAN: 9781594511882
ISBN: 1594511888
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Oktober 2007
Seitenanzahl: 227 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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