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Producing social nature in the Mexican countryside


Klooster, Daniel J.


Bitte beziehen Sie sich beim Zitieren dieses Dokumentes immer auf folgenden Persistent Identifier (PID):http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-232469

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Abstract In most countries in Latin America, rural areas remain as populated as, or more populated than, in 1950. People continue to live in rural areas despite the declining economic viability of agriculture and the availability of work elsewhere. Through an application of the production of nature argument, enriched by explicit attention to the production of culture and the agency of nature, I attempt to resolve that apparent paradox. In a case study illustrating the argument, agriculture has declined in importance over several decades, while craft production and temporary, cyclical emigration has increased. Remaining agricultural activities and craft production utilize natural stocks and processes through the application of family labour, with minimal recourse to a money economy. Cyclical emigration and remittances from relatives also support the economic maintenance of rural lives. Together, these activities permit the social reproduction of households that send members to find work elsewhere. At the scale of North America, therefore, Mexican nature subsidizes the cheap reproduction of labourers working in cities and commercial agriculture in both Mexico and the United States. At the scale of the village, nature enables people to cobble together livelihoods that support households and villages. But more fundamentally, people produce culture through everyday activities of production and consumption; and so nature provides the necessary context for the productive activities that define and give meaning to what households and village communities are, and what it means to be an individual member.
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2005
Seitenangabe S. 321-344
Zeitschriftentitel Cultural Geographies, 12 (2005) 3
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/1474474005eu334oa
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)