Small-scale fishing, a house-hold based enterprise in Puerto Rico, rarely provides sufficient income for a family, but it anchors their culture and sense of themselves within that culture. Even when family members must engage in wage work to supplement house-hold income, they think of themselves as fishers. Liche typifies these wage workers: \u0022When he was quite young, he left the island to struggle in other lands, to work, to raise a family, to send home the money he earned. Ten, twenty, thirty years passed...during which he did not once fish or even see the ocean. But in a boat-building factory in New Jersey, in a bakery in the Bronx, on the production line of a chemical factory, on dozens of construction sites, every single day he made a mental review of the waters, the isles and cays ...and entertained no thought that was not related to his return.\u0022 Fishers at Work, Workers at Sea describes Puerto Rican fishing families as they negotiate homeland and diaspora. It considers how wage work affects their livelihoods and identities at home and how these independent producers move in and out of global commodity markets. Drawing on some 100 life histories and years of fieldwork, David Griffith and Manuel Vald\u00e9s Pizzini have developed a complex, often moving portrait of the men and women who fiercely struggle to hang onto the coastal landscapes and cultural heritage tied to the Caribbean Sea.
Publisher: Temple University Press,U.S.
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 494 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
"Fishers at Work, Workers at Sea makes a major contribution to the literature on the anthropology and sociology of fisheries by providing an intelligent analysis of Puerto Rican fishermen which extends beyond a description of their fishing techniques and strategies and, more recently, the implications for public policy. The authors present a wealth of rich and thick data in an organized and coherent fashion...and focus upon the detailed complexities of what these fishermen bring to the increasing conflict between labor and the forces of capital."
-Robert Lee Maril, Chair and Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Texas Pan American, and author of Waltzing with the Ghost of Tom Joad
"The stunning accomplishment of this book is the way in which the authors have theoretically and ethnographically related deep cultural meanings not only to ecological contexts but to the stuff of political economy-the material social relationships entailed in class formation, the commodity form, and globalizing capitalism generally. Griffith and Valdes Pizzini focus on the praxis of Puerto Rican fishers and their families through a sophisticated theoretical framework that is as illuminating as it is powerful. These are the kinds of heights to which anthropology should strive. This book gives me hope for the discipline's future."
-Kevin A. Yelvington, University of South Florida, and author of Producing Power: Ethnicity, Gender, and Class in a Caribbean Workplace (Temple)
"This book masterfully shows how combinations of wage labor and informal independent production are still at the heart of global capitalism and the reproduction of proletariat households. Offering some of the best anthropology of labor around, the authors examine the multiple and contradictory meanings of small-scale commercial fishing in Puerto Rico: subsidy to capital, space for rest and therapy, source of pride, identity and livelihood for workers."
-Ruben Hernandez-Leon, University of California, Los Angeles