Fair Trade and Social Justice: Global Ethnographies

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By 2008, total Fair Trade purchases in the developed world reached nearly $3 billion, a five-fold increase in four years. Consumers pay a “fair price” for Fair Trade items, which are meant to generate greater earnings for family farmers, cover the costs of production, and support socially just and environmentally sound practices. Yet constrained by existing markets and the entities that dominate them, Fair Trade often delivers material improvements for producers that are much more modest than the profound social transformations the movement claims to support.

There has been scant real-world assessment of Fair Trade’s effectiveness. Drawing upon fine-grained anthropological studies of a variety of regions and commodity systems including Darjeeling tea, coffee, crafts, and cut flowers, the chapters in Fair Trade and Social Justice represent the first works to use ethnographic case studies to assess whether the Fair Trade Movement is actually achieving its goals.

Contributors: Julia Smith, Mark Moberg, Catherine Ziegler , Sarah Besky, Sarah M. Lyon, Catherine S. Dolan, Patrick C. Wilson, Faidra Papavasiliou, Molly Doane, Kathy M’Closkey, Jane Henrici

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is a significant contribution to the anthropological case study literature on fair trade that will give yuppies and more redical fair trade consumers, researchers and activists alike something to think about."-Ian Hussey,Socialist Studies

“A well-written, accessible, nicely balanced series of ethnographic cases—for those of us hungry to know more about the realities of fair trade on the ground, this volume is a nourishing meal of many courses.”
-Peggy F. Barlett,Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology, Emory University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814796214
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Moberg is Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Alabama. He is the author or co-editor of five books, including Slipping Away: Banana Politics and Fair Trade in the Eastern Caribbean.

Sarah Lyon is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky.

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Table of Contents

1 What’s Fair? The Paradox of Seeking Justice through Markets
Mark Moberg and Sarah Lyon
Part I : Global Markets and Local Realities
2 Fair Trade and the Specialty Coffee Market
Julia Smith
3 A New World? Neoliberalism and Fair Trade Farming in the Eastern Caribbean
Mark Moberg
4 Fair Flowers
Catherine Ziegler
5 Colonial Pasts and Fair Trade Futures
Sarah Besky
Part II : Negotiating Difference and Identity in Fair Trade Markets
6 A Market of Our OwnMarkets
Sarah Lyon
7 Fractured Ties
Catherine S. Dolan
8 Fair Trade Craft Production and Indigenous Economies
Patrick C. Wilson
Part III : Relationships and Consumption in Fair Trade Markets and
Alternative Economies
9 Fair Money, Fair Trade
Faidra Papavasiliou
10 Relationship Coffees
Molly Doane
11 Novica, Navajo Knock-Offs, and the ’Net: A Critique of Fair Trade Marketing Practices
Kathy M’Closkey
12 Naming Rights
Jane Henrici

About the Contributors

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