"No one ever showed me nothing": skill and self-making among Trinidadian garment workers

Prentice, Rebecca (2012) "No one ever showed me nothing": skill and self-making among Trinidadian garment workers. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 43 (4). pp. 400-414. ISSN 0161-7761

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Abstract

This article examines the relationship between skill acquisition and the constitution of economic selfhood in Trinidad. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork among garment workers in a context of industrial decline, I show how their formal, informal, and illicit means of acquiring sewing skills are inextricably linked to the fragmented and unstable economic opportunities available to them. Learning to sew means learning to be a flexible economic actor, which helps workers survive but disadvantages them in waged labor relationships. By investigating the role of pleasure in self-training, I emphasize the neglected importance of emotion for understanding livelihood strategies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Trinidad; neoliberal subjectivities;responsibilization;skill;selfhood
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rebecca Prentice
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2012 09:42
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2013 15:33
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/10343
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