By David Pedersen
Over the last half-century, El Salvador has reworked dramatically. traditionally reliant on fundamental exports like espresso and cotton, the rustic emerged from a brutal civil struggle in 1992 to discover a lot of its nationwide source of revenue now coming from an incredible emigrant workforce—over 1 / 4 of its population—that earns funds within the usa and sends it domestic. In American Value, David Pedersen examines this new lifestyle because it extends throughout areas: Intipucá, a Salvadoran city notorious for its remittance wealth, and the Washington, DC, metro quarter, domestic to the second one biggest inhabitants of Salvadorans within the United States.
Pedersen charts El Salvador’s switch along American deindustrialization, viewing the Salvadoran migrant paintings talents utilized in new lowwage American provider jobs as a type of basic export, and exhibits how the most recent social stipulations linking either international locations are a part of an extended background of disparity around the Americas. Drawing at the paintings of Charles S. Peirce, he demonstrates how the defining worth forms—migrant paintings means, companies, and remittances—act as indicators, development an ethical global by means of speaking their exchangeability whereas hiding the violence and exploitation on which this tale rests. Theoretically refined, ethnographically wealthy, and compellingly written, American Value bargains severe insights into practices which are more and more universal in the course of the international.
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Extra info for American Value: Migrants, Money, and Meaning in El Salvador and the United States
To tell this more inclusive story of storytelling changes both of the stories and their import, destabilizing the hierarchy and inviting further inquiry into the shared conditions of the stories’ combined and uneven formation. My encounter that morning in Intipucá, considered in relation to the town’s appearance in books like Huntington’s, sets the tone of this book and provides an initial line of questioning, no longer in the metaphorical realm of waves, water, and diving, but instead centered around the problematic of storytelling, broadly defined.
To include this story in the story would radically transfigure the value form, making the Golden Grain more like its opposite. introduction 19 This rough account of coffee entailed a process of social abstraction similar to that of the Intipucá-DC Connection Story congealing and hiding its fuller formative conditions in the town. The difference, however, is that the representational tendency of commodities like coffee is a requirement of the capitalist relations that have enveloped El Salvador and the United States for several centuries.
How does this history lie occluded in the moment of exchange, making the commodity “a social hieroglyphic,” as Marx called it? Capitalist value determination as a real semeiotic process is the (immediate) objectification of the abstract dimensions of labor-power. As I did with the mention of Intipucá in the Huntington book, I will take up the coffee example again to illustrate briefly what I mean by value as real representational tendency. Coffee first told its highly partial tale in El Salvador when coffee workers received a wage for their harvesting efforts.
American Value: Migrants, Money, and Meaning in El Salvador and the United States by David Pedersen