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Profit and tradition in rural manufacture: Sandal production in Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico

Adam, Victoria Forbes; (1994) Profit and tradition in rural manufacture: Sandal production in Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis is about the history and contemporary structure of sandal manufacture in Sahuayo, a market town in Michoacân, western Mexico. Special attention is paid to the social and cultural organization of production and to the role played by patronage, kinship and other relationships such as compadrazgo within different kinds of productive units. Attention is also paid to the organization of households supplying labour to the sandal industry and employment in this sector is compared to other forms of economic activity in the town. The thesis argues that the political history of Sahuayo had played an important role in shaping the strategies and practices of entrepreneurs and producers alike. Of particular significance was the process of national state consolidation, accomplished during the agrarian reform years of 1920 to 1940. Changing political configurations created a new regional agrarian bourgeoisie, backed by the institutional apparatus of the state. This group did not favour the Sahuayan elite class and it sought to bring local manufacture within the sphere of state control. Attention is paid to the various ways in which the Sahuayan bourgeoisie sought to resist this process of state encroachment. The thesis argues that a history of entrenched mercantile control, itself the outcome of a complex and antagonistic relationship with the national state, favoured the expansion of household production controlled by merchant capital and based upon the elaboration of putting out systems and various forms of subcontracted labour. Likewise, state-impelled efforts to unionize factory workers in the 1950s, and a disastrous confrontation with local capital, had consolidated working people's mistrust of government in all its forms. Producers had therefore remained fiercely independent and preferred to depend upon personalized relations of patronage than to engage in more collective forms of political struggle.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Profit and tradition in rural manufacture: Sandal production in Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Agrarian bourgeoisie; Mexico; Rural manufacture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099667
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