Creating and Transforming Households: The Constraints of the World-Economy

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This book examines the intimate link between the micro-structures of households and the structures of the world-economy at a global level. It seeks to explain differences in wage levels for work of comparable productivity by examining the different structures of households as "income-pooling units." The authors argue that the boundaries and sources of income of households are molded by the changing patterns of the world-economy, but are also modes of defense against its pressures. Empirical data is drawn from eight local regions in three different zones: the United States, Mexico and southern Africa.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521427135
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: Studies in Modern Capitalism Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 311
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

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; Bibliography.

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