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Empirical FuturesAnthropologists and Historians Engage the Work of Sidney W. Mintz$
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George Baca, Aisha Khan, and Stephan Palmie

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833452

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895344_baca

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Jealous Women in the Cane

Jealous Women in the Cane

(p.173) Jealous Women in the Cane
Empirical Futures

Deborah Gewertz

Frederick Errington

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the modernist story Mintz tells about the Caribbean, which encompasses 400 years and links hemispheres, classes, and practices of consumption in important relationships of inequality. In this story, Mintz seeks to understand these relationships through a focus on both broader systems and human experience. Mintz's concern with human experience is perhaps best exemplified in his remarkable life history of Zayas Alvarado, known as Don Taso, a worker in the cane fields of Puerto Rico. In Worker in the Cane, Mintz documents the twentieth-century changes lived through by Taso and his compatriots in Barrio Jauca after the United States assumed sovereignty of Puerto Rico in 1899. These changes involved a shift from a hacienda-based, plantation economy characterized by personal relationships between owners and their worker-clients, to a corporation-based one characterized by standardized relationships between employers and workers.

Keywords:   modernist story, Mintz, Caribbean, human experience, Zayas Alvarado, Don Taso, plantation economy

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