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American Value: Migrants, Money, and Meaning in El Salvador by David Pedersen

By David Pedersen

Over the last half-century, El Salvador has remodeled dramatically. traditionally reliant on basic 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 important emigrant workforce—over 1 / 4 of its population—that earns cash within the usa and sends it domestic. In American Value, David Pedersen examines this new lifestyle because it extends throughout locations: Intipucá, a Salvadoran city notorious for its remittance wealth, and the Washington, DC, metro quarter, domestic to the second one greatest inhabitants of Salvadorans within the United States.

Pedersen charts El Salvador’s swap along American deindustrialization, viewing the Salvadoran migrant paintings talents utilized in new lowwage American carrier jobs as one of those basic export, and indicates how the newest social stipulations linking either nations are a part of an extended heritage of disparity around the Americas. Drawing at the paintings of Charles S. Peirce, he demonstrates how the defining worth forms—migrant paintings capability, prone, and remittances—act as symptoms, development an ethical international via speaking their exchangeability whereas hiding the violence and exploitation on which this tale rests. Theoretically subtle, ethnographically wealthy, and compellingly written, American Value bargains serious insights into practices which are more and more universal through the global.

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Additional resources for American Value: Migrants, Money, and Meaning in El Salvador and the United States

Sample text

It was an interesting place. All the houses looked nice and people seemed reasonably well off. I shot at least a whole roll [of film],” Robin told me years later. On July 18, 1989, the New York Times printed one of Lubbock’s compelling snapshots as part of a short article about Intipucá. The text highlighted the relative wealth of the pueblo in comparison with nearby areas and attributed this to the significant amount of money sent back by residents who had settled in the Washington, DC, area.

Like many pueblos roadmap for remittances 33 in the region, it had lost a significant part of its population because of wartime migration to the United States. However, the first Intipuqueños (natives of Intipucá) who traveled to live and work in the United States actually had begun to do so in the late 1960s. Building on initial patterns and contacts established by these residents who had settled in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region, almost all of the town’s expatriates went to the DC area over the ensuing decades.

Chapter 8, “The World in a Park,” examines the lives of people who live and work at the margins of Intipucá, barely represented in the dominant models, yet necessary for their formation. The Finale comprises a substantial chapter (9) that shifts the analysis to a different scale, and a conclusion that offers a concise wrap-up and provisional finish to the study conducted by this book. Chapter 9, “Options and Models for the Future,” marks a distinct widening of perspective and a shift toward critically viewing the near future from the perspective of what has been covered in chapters 1–8.

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