Wedded to work: Class struggles and gendered identities in the restructuring of the Ecuadorian banana industry

Authors
Citation
S. Striffler, Wedded to work: Class struggles and gendered identities in the restructuring of the Ecuadorian banana industry, IDENTITIES, 6(1), 1999, pp. 91-120
Citations number
50
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
IDENTITIES-GLOBAL STUDIES IN CULTURE AND POWER
ISSN journal
1070-289X → ACNP
Volume
6
Issue
1
Year of publication
1999
Pages
91 - 120
Database
ISI
SICI code
1070-289X(199906)6:1<91:WTWCSA>2.0.ZU;2-A
Abstract
From 1934 to 1962, the United Fruit Company owned and operated Hacienda Ten guel, an immense banana plantation in Ecuador's southern coast. In an effor t to control the working-class of Tenguel, United Fruit implemented a syste m of plantation management that was rooted in the support and manipulation of gendered institutions and practices. In the end, the system backfired an d the workers invaded the entire property, using the same sets of gendered relationships, rights, and identities that the company had developed in ord er to produce a docile labor force. In contrast, the current system of cont ract farming, backed by the state, has made it impossible to adopt the iden tity of "worker" in a more subjective and political sense. Plantations, now severed from the daily life of the family and community, are no longer sit es where a politically meaningful sense of class identity is forged. In exa mining this process of restructuring, this essay explores the complex and c hanging relationships between political struggle, the formation of class an d gender identities, and processes of capitalist transformation.