Machos, machetes y migrantes: Masculinidades y dialécticas del control laboral en Guatemala

Translated title of the contribution: Machos machetes and migrants: Masculinities and the dialectics of labor control in Guatemala

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Abstract

This article examines how «stabilization» processes among indigenous migrant workers in Guatemala are being built and confronted. The case of sugar plantations in Guatemala is presented, whose labor «modernization» programs have been praised by the World Bank and other institutions as a model for the rest of Central America. This article shows how attempts to stabilize agricultural labor force by masculinizing work have paradoxically sped up processes of international migration in rural Guatemala. The question of «government» of labor markets has emerged as a key issue in developmentalist debates in post-war Central America. It is, to a certain extent, the reemerging of the classic liberal question of building a disciplined, productive labor force without causing major changes to the existing capital and power structure. This article is based on recent debates in critical humam geography and argues for the need to consider a wider notion of production policies, which takes into account the situation of workers in growingly internationalized social and cultural spheres. The efforts of a national elite to «fix» a gendered identity among their workers as a way to induce labor stability, may have unforeseen consequences because of these dynamic dialectics of the production of social identities, which challenge the new patterns of «citizen-worker» the sugar elites try to infuse.

Translated title of the contributionMachos machetes and migrants: Masculinities and the dialectics of labor control in Guatemala
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)651-680
Number of pages30
JournalEstudios Migratorios Latinamericanos
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development

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