UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

State and life in Cuba: calibrating ideals and realities in a state-socialist system for food provision

Mesa Cumbrera, O; Carrazana Fuentes, LY; Rodríguez Hernández, D; Holbraad, M; Reyes Mora, I; Cano Orúe, MR; (2020) State and life in Cuba: calibrating ideals and realities in a state-socialist system for food provision. Social Anthropology , 28 (4) pp. 803-826. 10.1111/1469-8676.12961. Green open access

[thumbnail of Holbraad_State and life in Cuba- calibrating ideals and realities in a state-socialist system for food provision_VoR.pdf]
Preview
Text
Holbraad_State and life in Cuba- calibrating ideals and realities in a state-socialist system for food provision_VoR.pdf - Published Version

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

Based on our collective ethnography of Cuba’s socialist system for the provision of state-subsidised food, this article explores manners in which the state weaves itself into the fabric of people’s everyday lives in state-socialist society. Instituted by Cuba’s revolutionary government in the early 1960s, Cuba’s ‘state system for provisioning’ is still today the backbone of household subsistence, propelling individuals into direct daily relations with the state via its neighbourhood-level network of stores that distribute food catering to citizens’ ‘basic needs’. Our ethnography brings together a series of studies conducted by the members of our team in different parts of Havana, charting the most salient aspects of people’s interaction with the state in this alimentary context. We argue that the state becomes pervasive in people’s daily lives not just because it is present in so much of it, but also as the basic normative premise on which people interpret and evaluate everyday comportments in the interactions food provisioning involves. Life in state socialism involves the constant and intricate comparison of its own realities against the normative ideals the state purports to institute. These ‘vernacular comparisons’ between life and state, as we call them, are the ‘local knowledge’ of state socialism in Cuba.

Type: Article
Title: State and life in Cuba: calibrating ideals and realities in a state-socialist system for food provision
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1469-8676.12961
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-8676.12961
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Social Anthropology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of European Association of Social Anthropologists. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10118373
Downloads since deposit
76Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item