Artisan has recently become a buzzword in the developed world, used for items like cheese, wine, and baskets, as corporations succeed at branding their cheap, mass-produced products with the popular appeal of small-batch, handmade goods. The unforgiving realities of the artisan economy, however, never left the global south, and anthropologists have worried over the fate of these craftspeople as global capitalism has again remade their cultural and economic territory. Yet artisans are proving to be surprisingly vital players in contemporary capitalism, as they interlock innovation and tradition to create effective new forms of entrepreneurship. Based on seven years of extensive research in Colombia and Ecuador, veteran ethnographers Jason Antrosio and Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld's Fast, Easy, and In Cash explores how small-scale production and global capitalism are not directly opposed, but are rather essential partners in economic development. Antrosio and Colloredo-Mansfeld demonstrate how artisan trades arrive and flourish in modern Latin American communities.
In uncertain economic environments, small manufacturers have adapted to excel at home-based production, product design, technological efficiency, and high-risk investments. Illuminating this process are vivid case studies from Ecuador and Colombia: peasant farmers in Tuquerres, Otavalo weavers, Tigua painters, and the t-shirt industry of Atuntaqui. Fast, Easy, and In Cash exposes how these ambitious artisans, far from being holdovers from the past, are crucial for capitalist innovation in their communities and provide indispensable lessons in how we should understand and cultivate local economies in this era of globalization.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 200
Weight: 288 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 13 mm