The politics of relocation: Gender, nationality, and value in a Mexican maquiladora

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In this paper, I combine a Marxist critique of the labor theory of value with poststructuralist feminist theories of subjectivity to illustrate how the decision to transfer a manufacturing operation out of Mexico revolves around the culturally constructed meanings of identity internal to the firm. I attempt to illustrate how the managers of a maquiladora establish patterns for designating national and sex differences among their employees to support an argument that the production of valuable commodities is a social process interwoven with the social construction of differential values in people. And I endeavor to show how these complicated processes for identifying value in things, and in the people who make them, have an impact upon the internal structure of the firm. The paper is based upon several months of ethnographic research conducted in a multinational maquiladora located in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1601-1617
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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