Creating and Transforming Households: The Constraints of the World-Economy (Studies in Modern Capitalism)

Creating and Transforming Households: The Constraints of the World-Economy (Studies in Modern Capitalism)

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Cynthia Woodsong Joan Smith
Cambridge University Press, 8/27/1992
EAN 9780521415521, ISBN10: 0521415527

Hardcover, 320 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
Language: English

This book, first published in 1992, seeks an explanation of the pattern of sharp discrepancy of wage levels across the world-economy for work of comparable productivity. It explores how far such differences can be explained by the different structures of households as 'income-pooling units', examining three key variables: location in the core or periphery of the world-economy; periods of expansion versus periods of contraction in the world-economy; and secular transformation over time. The authors argue that both the boundaries of households and their sources of income are molded by the changing patterns of the world-economy, but are also modes of defense against its pressures. Drawing empirical data from eight local regions in three different zones - the United States, Mexico and southern Africa - this book presents a systematic and original approach to the intimate link between the micro-structures of households and the structures of the capitalist world-economy at a global level.

Preface Joan Smith and Immanuel Wallerstein
1. Household as an institution of the world-economy Immanuel Wallerstein and Joan Smith
2. The United States Kathie Friedman Kasada
(a) The Detroit Story
the crucible of Fordism Kathleen Stanley and Joan Smith
(b) New York City
the underside of the world's capital Kathie Friedman Kasada
(c) Binghamton
the secrets of a backwater Randall H. McGuire and Cynthia Woodsong
(d) Puerto Rico
from colony to colony Maria Del Carmen Baega
3. Mexico Lanny Thompson
(a) Mexico City
the slow rise of wage-centered households Lanny Thompson
(b) Central Mexico
the decline of subsistence and the rise of poverty Lanny Thompson
4. Southern Africa Mark Beittel
(a) The Witwatersrand
black households, white households Mark Beittel
(b) Lesotho
the creation of the households William G. Martin
5. Core-periphery and household structures Immanuel Wallerstein and Joan Smith
Postscript on method Joan Smith and Jamie Sudler

"This book is a useful sourcebook for those interested iin the specific regions of the world it covers. Perhaps more importantly, it provides empirical evidence to confirm that even in the United States, the classic Fordist worker has existed only during very short periods, while the economic contribution of other members of the household has always been a crucial factor in their reproduction." Belinda Leach, Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology