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Globalization and the Rural Poor in Latin America

William M. Loker, editor
ISBN: 978-1-55587-809-2
1999/232 pages/LC: 98-7511
Directions in Applied Anthropology: Adaptations and Innovations
“A compelling collection of well researched anthropological essays that examine, through country specific case studies, both positive developments and negative consequences of globalization on the lives of Latin America’s rural poor.... particularly noteworthy are its multidisciplinary approach and inclusion of gender-based and class-based analysis.... a highly readable and comprehensive first hand look at some of the realities faced by Latin America’s rural poor as they attempt to sacar algun provecho in an increasingly globalized world.”—Jennifer Lalonde, Canadian Journal of Development Studies

“Contributes to further demonstrating the complexity of rural life in a postmodern age.”—Choice


With global sociopolitical and economic change contributing to an accelerating crisis in Latin America’s rural communities, rural residents are responding creatively with a range of survival strategies: new forms of collective action, involvement in social movements, the development of resource-management programs, and participation in broader markets. The analyses and case studies in this book illustrate these strategies in the context of declining wages, rapid population growth, and reduced access to land and resources.

The authors also examine the implications and ideological justification of current development approaches. A concluding chapter explores the connections between globalization and the underlying forces of urbanization, liberalization, and democratization.


William M. Loker is associate professor of anthropology at California State University, Chico.


  • Foreword—P. Barlett.
  • Grit in the Prosperity Machine: Globalization and the Rural Poor in Latin America—W. Loker. 
  • Commercial Family Farmers and Collective Action: Dairy Farming Strategies in Michoacán and Guanajuato, Mexico—J.H. McDonald.
  • Lo Que Dice el Mercado": Development Without Developers in Oaxacan Peasant Community—R. Waterbury.
  • Rural Guatemala in Economic and Social Transition—L.R. Goldin.
  • Ngóbe Adaptive Responses to Globalization in Panama—P.D. Young and J.R. Bort.
  • Water Demand and Farmer-Managed Irrigation Systems in the Colca Valley, Peru—D. Guillet.
  • Ecotourism and Cultural Preservation in the Guyanese Rainforest—B. Dilly.
  • Global Space and Local Response: the Uses of Convite in the Dominican South—M. Vargas.
  • Working in the Field: Perspectives on Globalization in Latin America—B. Orlove.