This book explores how lived experience is informed by and shapes the diversifying funds of knowledge that enable people under economic stress to make culturally-informed choices in their material interest. By selectively reviewing the economic anthropological record and critically examining specific studies in several of Mexico's (and Guatemala's) key regions, as well as the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and the new trans-border space in the U.S. and Canada for Mexican migrant labor, the author encourages readers to critically rethink their views of economic otherness in Mexico (and, by extension, elsewhere in Latin America and the Third World), and presents a new framework for reconciling the continuing attraction of concepts like 'penny capitalism' with the realities of a world ever more subjected to continental and global market projects of 'Dollar Capitalism'.
Scott Cook is professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut where his last position (1996-2000) was interim director of the Institute for Puerto Rican and Latino Studies. He is the author of six books, including Mexican Brick Culture in the Building of Texas, 1800s-1980s and Obliging Need: Rural Petty Industry in Mexican Capitalism.
1. Economic Otherness South of the Border: The Twentieth Century Foundations and Formation of the Economic Anthropology of Mexico 2. Commodity Culture(s), Capitalism, and the Economic Anthropology of Mexico: the Case of B. Travern 3. Re-Reading Penny Capitalism: The Paradox of Poverty in a Land of Enterprise 4. Rereading Canonical Texts and Revisiting the "Great Debate": A Retrospective View from the Trenches through a Twenty-First-Century Lens 5. Commodity Value, Culture, and Economy 6. Understanding Peasants, Commodity Economy, and Change in the Mesoamerican Experience 7. Commodity Culture(s), Livelihood Strategies, and Reproductive Goals: A Critique of Ethnography 8. Social Reproduction of Commodity Value: Mapping Interior and Exterior Connections 9. The U.S-Mexico Borderlands: Commodity Culture(s), Labor, and Capital 10. The New Transborder Space: NAFTAmerica, Migration, and Identity