When I Wear My Alligator Boots

Author: Shaylih Muehlmann
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520957183
Release Date: 2013-11-09
Genre: Social Science

When I Wear My Alligator Boots examines how the lives of dispossessed men and women are affected by the rise of narcotrafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border. In particular, the book explores a crucial tension at the heart of the "war on drugs": despite the violence and suffering brought on by drug cartels, for the rural poor in Mexico’s north, narcotrafficking offers one of the few paths to upward mobility and is a powerful source of cultural meanings and local prestige. In the borderlands, traces of the drug trade are everywhere: from gang violence in cities to drug addiction in rural villages, from the vibrant folklore popularized in the narco-corridos of Norteña music to the icon of Jesús Malverde, the "patron saint" of narcos, tucked beneath the shirts of local people. In When I Wear My Alligator Boots, the author explores the everyday reality of the drug trade by living alongside its low-level workers, who live at the edges of the violence generated by the militarization of the war on drugs. Rather than telling the story of the powerful cartel leaders, the book focuses on the women who occasionally make their sandwiches, the low-level businessmen who launder their money, the addicts who consume their products, the mules who carry their money and drugs across borders, and the men and women who serve out prison sentences when their bosses' operations go awry.

When I Wear My Alligator Boots

Author: Shaylih Muehlmann
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520276772
Release Date: 2013-11-09
Genre: SOCIAL SCIENCE

"This book tells the story of the poor, often indigenous workers living in the borderlands who are recruited to work in the lowest echelons of the drug trade, as burreros (mules) and narcotraficantes (traffickers). Shayleh Muehlmann spent over a year researching in a small community in the borderlands. This book brings her stories to a wider public, narrating the experiences of a group of indigenous fishermen in northern Mexico who have become involved in the drug trade, and exploring how the narco-economy has provided a reprieve for men and women attempting to survive while their primary form of livelihood, fishing, has been criminalized by the state because of its alleged negative environmental impact. The book examines the rise of narcotrafficking as one of the economic alternatives sought by local people and how this work is seen by many as a way of resisting forms of domination imposed on them by both the Mexican and U.S. governments. Muehlmann explores a tension at the heart of the "war on drugs." For many men and women living in poverty, the narco-economy represents an alternative to the exploitation and alienation they experience trying to work in the borderland's legal economy which has been increasingly dominated by the presence of U.S.-owned maquiladoras (assembly plants) and ravaged by environmental degradation. Despite the lawlessness and violence of the cartels and the ruinous consequences this process has had for some of the most vulnerable people involved, narco-trafficking represents one of the few promises of upward mobility for the indigenous poor in Mexico's north. "--Provided by publisher.

Searching for Boko Haram

Author: Scott MacEachern
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190492540
Release Date: 2018-01-02
Genre: History

For the past decade, Boko Haram has relentlessly terrorized northeastern Nigeria. Few if any explanations for the rise of this violent insurgent group look beyond its roots in worldwide jihadism and recent political conflicts in central Africa. Searching for Boko Haram is the first book to examine the insurgency within the context of centuries, millennia even, of cultural change in the region. The book surveys the deep history of the lands south of Lake Chad, richly documented in archaeology and texts, to show how ancient natural and cultural events can aid in our understanding of Boko Haram's present agenda. The land's historical narrative stretches back five centuries, with cultural origins that plunge even deeper into the past. One important feature of this past is the phenomenon of frontiers and borderlands. In striking ways, Boko Haram resembles the frontier slave raiders and warlords who figure in precolonial and colonial writings on the southern Lake Chad Basin. Presently, these accounts are paralleled by the activity of smugglers, bandits (coupeurs de route--"road cutters"), and tax evaders. The borderlands of these countries are today places where the state often refuses to exercise its full authority because of the profits and opportunities illicit relationships afford state officials and bureaucrats. For the local community, Boko Haram's actions are readily understandable in terms of slave raids and borderlands. They are not mysterious and unprecedented eruptions of violence and savagery, but--as the book argues--recognizable phenomena within the contexts of local politics and history. Written from the perspective of an author who has worked in this part of Africa for more than thirty years, Searching for Boko Haram provides vital historical context to the recent rise of this terroristic force, and counters misperceptions of their activities and of the region as a whole.

Anthropology and Egalitarianism

Author: Eric Gable
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253004840
Release Date: 2010-12-03
Genre: Social Science

Anthropology and Egalitarianism is an artful and accessible introduction to key themes in cultural anthropology. Writing in a deeply personal style and using material from his fieldwork in three dramatically different locales -- Indonesia, West Africa, and Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson -- Eric Gable shows why the ethnographic encounter is the core of the discipline's method and the basis of its unique contribution to understanding the human condition. Gable weaves together vignettes from the field and discussion of major works as he explores the development of the idea of culture through the experience of cultural contrast, anthropology's fraught relationship to racism and colonialism, and other enduring themes.

Migrants and Strangers in an African City

Author: Bruce Whitehouse
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253000750
Release Date: 2012-03-14
Genre: Social Science

In cities throughout Africa, local inhabitants live alongside large populations of "strangers." Bruce Whitehouse explores the condition of strangerhood for residents who have come from the West African Sahel to settle in Brazzaville, Congo. Whitehouse considers how these migrants live simultaneously inside and outside of Congolese society as merchants, as Muslims in a predominantly non-Muslim society, and as parents seeking to instill in their children the customs of their communities of origin. Migrants and Strangers in an African City challenges Pan-Africanist ideas of transnationalism and diaspora in today’s globalized world.

Days of Death Days of Life

Author: Kristin Norget
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231510141
Release Date: 2012-07-16
Genre: Social Science

Kristin Norget explores the practice and meanings of death rituals in poor urban neighborhoods on the outskirts of the southern Mexican city of Oaxaca. Drawing on her extensive fieldwork in Oaxaca City, Norget provides vivid descriptions of the Day of the Dead and other popular religious practices. She analyzes how the rites and beliefs associated with death shape and reflect poor Oaxacans' values and social identity. Norget also considers the intimate relationship that is perceived to exist between the living and the dead in Oaxacan popular culture. She argues that popular death rituals, which lie largely outside the sanctioned practices of the Catholic Church, establish and reinforce an ethical view of the world in which the dead remain with the living and in which the poor (as opposed to the privileged classes) do right by one another and their dead. For poor Oaxacans, these rituals affirm a set of social beliefs and practices, based on fairness, egalitarianism, and inclusiveness.

Living with Difference

Author: Adam B. Seligman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520284111
Release Date: 2016-01-12
Genre: Social Science

Whether looking at divided cities or working with populations on the margins of society, a growing number of engaged academics have reached out to communities around the world to address the practical problems of living with difference. This book explores the challenges and necessities of accommodating difference, however difficult and uncomfortable such accommodation may be. Drawing on fourteen years of theoretical insights and unique pedagogy, CEDAR—Communities Engaging with Difference and Religion—has worked internationally with community leaders, activists, and other partners to take the insights of anthropology out of the classroom and into the world. Rather than addressing conflict by emphasizing what is shared, Living with Difference argues for the centrality of difference in creating community, seeking ways not to overcome or deny differences but to live with and within them in a self-reflective space and practice. This volume also includes a manual for organizers to implement CEDAR’s strategies in their own communities.

They Leave Their Kidneys in the Fields

Author: Sarah Horton
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520283268
Release Date: 2016-07-19
Genre: Social Science

"They Leave Their Kidneys in the Fields takes the reader on an ethnographic tour of the melon and corn harvesting fields in California's Central Valley to understand why farmworkers die at work each summer. Laden with captivating detail of farmworkers' daily work and home lives, Horton examines how U.S. immigration policy and the historic exclusion of farmworkers from the promises of liberalism has made migrant farmworkers what she calls 'exceptional workers.' She explores the deeply intertwined political, legal, and social factors that place Latino migrants at particular risk of illness and injury in the fields, as well as the patchwork of health care, disability, and Social Security policies that provide them little succor when they become sick or grow old. The book takes an in-depth look at the work risks faced by migrants at all stages of life: as teens, in their middle-age, and ultimately as elderly workers. By following the lives of a core group of farmworkers over nearly a decade, Horton provides a searing portrait of how their precarious immigration and work statuses culminate in preventable morbidity and premature death"--Provided by publisher.

The Children of NAFTA

Author: David Bacon
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520237780
Release Date: 2004-03-01
Genre: History

This is a journalistic chronicle of contemporary labor wars and organizing on the United States/Mexican border. Based on gripping firsthand reports, this book investigates the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on those who labor in the agricultural fields and maquiladora factories on the border.

The U S Mexico Transborder Region

Author: Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 9780816535156
Release Date: 2017-04-11
Genre: History

"One of the most complete collections of essays on U.S.-Mexico border studies"--Provided by publisher.

Narco Cults

Author: Tony M. Kail
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 9781466595460
Release Date: 2015-04-15
Genre: Computers

Those who know about how spirituality plays into the world of drug smuggling have likely heard of Santa Muerte, Jesus Malverde, and Santería, but the details of the more obscure African religions and Latin American folk saints and cults often remain a mystery. While the vast majority of these religions are practiced by law-abiding citizens with no connections to the drug trade, their religious beliefs and practices are often appropriated by drug cartels and used to psychologically empower members of these organizations. Therefore, knowledge about narco-cults and spirituality related to the drug trade can be incredibly useful to narcotics officers, military and intelligence agents, and even the average street cop. Narco-Cults: Understanding the Use of Afro-Caribbean and Mexican Religious Cultures in the Drug Wars looks at the growing phenomenon of narco-cults and the use of indigenous spiritual traditions among drug trafficking organizations. Based on two decades of experience from one of the top consultants in the field, it provides investigative agencies with a means of identifying symbols, rituals, artifacts, and customs endemic to various drug trafficking organizations. The book features illustrations of altars, shrines, and tools along with detailed descriptions of their cultural significance and practical application in rituals and customs. Derived from empirical research, this sourcebook provides reliable information taken from ethnographic fieldwork, police reports, and interviews with practitioners. The knowledge contained herein will help build cultural competency among the many agencies investigating drug crimes.

Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti

Author: Mark Schuller
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813574264
Release Date: 2016-01-12
Genre: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti was one of the deadliest disasters in modern history, sparking an international aid response—with pledges and donations of $16 billion—that was exceedingly generous. But now, five years later, that generous aid has clearly failed. In Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti, anthropologist Mark Schuller captures the voices of those involved in the earthquake aid response, and they paint a sharp, unflattering view of the humanitarian enterprise. Schuller led an independent study of eight displaced-persons camps in Haiti, compiling more than 150 interviews ranging from Haitian front-line workers and camp directors to foreign humanitarians and many displaced Haitian people. The result is an insightful account of why the multi-billion-dollar aid response not only did little to help but also did much harm, triggering a range of unintended consequences, rupturing Haitian social and cultural institutions, and actually increasing violence, especially against women. The book shows how Haitian people were removed from any real decision-making, replaced by a top-down, NGO-dominated system of humanitarian aid, led by an army of often young, inexperienced foreign workers. Ignorant of Haitian culture, these aid workers unwittingly enacted policies that triggered a range of negative results. Haitian interviewees also note that the NGOs “planted the flag,” and often tended to “just do something,” always with an eye to the “photo op” (in no small part due to the competition over funding). Worse yet, they blindly supported the eviction of displaced people from the camps, forcing earthquake victims to relocate in vast shantytowns that were hotbeds of violence. Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti concludes with suggestions to help improve humanitarian aid in the future, perhaps most notably, that aid workers listen to—and respect the culture of—the victims of catastrophe.

Creating a Common Table in Twentieth Century Argentina

Author: Rebekah E. Pite
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9781469606910
Release Date: 2013-04-01
Genre: History

Dona Petrona C. de Gandulfo (c. 1896-1992) reigned as Argentina's preeminent domestic and culinary expert from the 1930s through the 1980s. An enduring culinary icon thanks to her magazine columns, radio programs, and television shows, she was likely second only to Eva Peron in terms of the fame she enjoyed and the adulation she received. Her cookbook garnered tremendous popularity, becoming one of the three best-selling books in Argentina. Dona Petrona capitalized on and contributed to the growing appreciation for women's domestic roles as the Argentine economy expanded and fell into periodic crises. Drawing on a wide range of materials, including her own interviews with Dona Petrona's inner circle and with everyday women and men, Rebekah E. Pite provides a lively social history of twentieth-century Argentina, as exemplified through the fascinating story of Dona Petrona and the homemakers to whom she dedicated her career. Pite's narrative illuminates the important role of food--its consumption, preparation, and production--in daily life, class formation, and national identity. By connecting issues of gender, domestic work, and economic development, Pite brings into focus the critical importance of women's roles as consumers, cooks, and community builders.

The Land of Open Graves

Author: Jason De Leon
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520958685
Release Date: 2015-10-23
Genre: Social Science

In his gripping and provocative debut, anthropologist Jason De León sheds light on one of the most pressing political issues of our time—the human consequences of US immigration policy. The Land of Open Graves reveals the suffering and deaths that occur daily in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona as thousands of undocumented migrants attempt to cross the border from Mexico into the United States. Drawing on the four major fields of anthropology, De León uses an innovative combination of ethnography, archaeology, linguistics, and forensic science to produce a scathing critique of “Prevention through Deterrence,” the federal border enforcement policy that encourages migrants to cross in areas characterized by extreme environmental conditions and high risk of death. For two decades, this policy has failed to deter border crossers while successfully turning the rugged terrain of southern Arizona into a killing field. In harrowing detail, De León chronicles the journeys of people who have made dozens of attempts to cross the border and uncovers the stories of the objects and bodies left behind in the desert. The Land of Open Graves will spark debate and controversy.

The World of Wal Mart

Author: Nick Copeland
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135098506
Release Date: 2013-01-04
Genre: Social Science

This book demonstrates the usefulness of anthropological concepts by taking a critical look at Wal-Mart and the American Dream. Rather than singling Wal-Mart out for criticism, the authors treat it as a product of a socio-political order that it also helps to shape. The book attributes Wal-Mart’s success to the failure of American (and global) society to make the Dream available to everyone. It shows how decades of neoliberal economic policies have exposed contradictions at the heart of the Dream, creating an opening for Wal-Mart. The company’s success has generated a host of negative externalities, however, fueling popular ambivalence and organized opposition. The book also describes the strategies that Wal-Mart uses to maintain legitimacy, fend off unions, enter new markets, and cultivate an aura of benevolence and ordinariness, despite these externalities. It focuses on Wal-Mart’s efforts to forge symbolic and affective inclusion, and their self-promotion as a free market solution to social problems of poverty, inequality, and environmental destruction. Finally, the book contrasts the conceptions of freedom and human rights that underlie Wal-Mart’s business model to the alternative visions of freedom forwarded by their critics.