Ximena Alba Villalever, Bruno Miranda (eds.)

Migrant Labor
in Global Chains

Prologue: Gustavo Lins Ribeiro

227 págs., ISBN 978-3-946327-28-8, 20,–  € (August 2021)

("Fragmentierte Moderne in Lateinamerika", 20)

This book focuses on the bonds between the transnational mobility of people and the production and circulation of global goods. Specifically, it looks at the role that migrant labor plays in the manufacture of daily use commodities and the production of services, from food and clothing to toys, electronics and care work. Through the analysis of different labor niches in the Americas, the book shows how migrant groups are indispensable actors of certain global chains, as they provide the workforce for their (re)production. In spite of this, these migrants often find themselves in precarious conditions and in contexts of vulnerability.

Particularly, we focus on four distinctive labor niches in which we identify a significant weight on migrant participation: garment industry, popular trade, agroindustry and transnational care chains. Every chapter is rich in ethnographic material and examines different forms of inequality, political struggles, vulnerabilities and resistances that take place in the nexus between migrant labor and global chains. At the same time, the book shows the links that migrants weave, through their work, not only within the Americas, but with Asia, Africa and Europe.

"'Migrant Labor in Global Chains' is a richly detailed and wide-ranging edited volume (...) While each of the chapters can be read as standalone case studies of specific groups of labor migrants toiling in a specific transnational industry in a specific destination, the strength of the book lies in its opportunities for drawing parallels across chapters and case studies. (...) the chapters of this book represent one of the best researched examinations of the mutually constitutive relationship between globalization and migration through global chains (...) As such, this volume serves as an excellent resource for scholars of migration, globalization, mobility, and Latin America." (Anju Mary Paul in "Anthropos", no. 118/2023)

Table of contents, prologue and introduction: see PDF

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