By Elizabeth Emma Ferry
Elizabeth Ferry explores how contributors of the Santa Fe Cooperative, a silver mine in Mexico, provide desiring to their hard work in an period of rampant globalization. She analyzes the cooperative's practices and the significance of patrimonio (patrimony) of their knowing of labor, culture, and group. extra in particular, she argues that patrimonio, a trust that yes assets are inalienable possessions of an area collective handed all the way down to next generations, has formed and sustained the cooperative's feel of identification.
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Additional resources for Not Ours Alone: Patrimony, Value, and Collectivity in Contemporary Mexico
The term can refer literally to property handed down from father to children or from ancestor to descendants, or to the ancestral property of a corporate group or class. To describe something as patrimony places limits on its exchange by classifying it as ideally inalienable; such patrimonial possessions are meant to remain within the control of the social group that lays claim to them and usually to be passed down intact from generation to generation. These “objects” often include landed property, so-called cultural properties, and, in the case of Mexico, subsoil resources.
At different moments they say that it is like a family, peopled by families, and organizes labor, production, and consumption in terms of the family rather than the individual worker. In this way it stands in marked contrast to the other mining companies that are increasingly relying on short-term contract work. Another thing is that it [the Cooperative] is very familial, cooperative members come in families [vienen todo en familia]. One student at the University of Guanajuato School of Mines described the Santa Fe Cooperative to me as “la más casera” (the most homemade; domestic) of the three mining companies in Guanajuato.
An attention to these issues could provide a fresh perspective to a broad range of contemporary issues, including debates over property,“identity,”“rights,” and so on. Based on in-depth ethnographic research on the decisions and negotiations through which people assign value to resources and in doing so debate the legitimate boundaries of collectivities, this book contributes to the study of local responses to large-scale change in Mexico and to the anthropology of value more generally. It also provides a blueprint for other ethnographic analyses of value in contemporary contexts.