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 MPIfG Books

 

 


Matías Dewey
 
Making It at Any Cost
Aspirations and Politics in a Counterfeit Clothing Marketplace

 
Austin: University of Texas Press, 2020
296 pages | ISBN 978-1-4773-2105-8 | 45 $

 
Order book directly from University of Texas Press.
 

 

 

Abstract | Contents | Author


 

 

Abstract


 
La Salada is South America’s largest marketplace for fraudulently labeled clothing, a sprawling and dangerous bazaar on the fringes of Buenos Aires where counterfeit goods are bought and sold, armed thieves roam the nearby streets, and corrupt police and poli­ticians turn a blind eye to widespread unlawful behaviors. Despite conditions traditionally considered inhospitable to economic growth – including acute interpersonal distrust, pervasive personal insecurity, and rampant violence – business in La Salada is booming under an established order completely detached from the state.
 
Matías Dewey dives deep into the world of La Salada to examine how market exchanges function outside the law and how agreements and norms develop in the economy for counterfeit clothing. Drawing on seven months of ethnographic research and more than a hundred interviews, Dewey argues that aspirations for a better future shape garment workers’ everyday practices, from their home-based sweatshops to the market stalls. The book unearths a new configuration of garment production and commercialization detached from global supply chains, submerged in the shadows of informality and illegality, and rooted in aspiration and opportunity.
 

 

 

Contents


 
Maps
Acknowledgments
List of La Salada Characters
 
Introduction: Aspirations amid Distrust
 

 
Part I: History, Place, and Politics
 
Chapter 1   The Garment Market and the Marketplace
 
Chapter 2   Governing La Salada
 
Chapter 3   With God and the Devil
 

 
Part II: Prisoners of Aspirations
 
Chapter 4   All I Want Is a Sweatshop
 
Chapter 5   The Garment Entrepreneur at La Salada
 
Chapter 6   Dynamics of Aspirations
 

 
Part III: Aspirations in Action
 
Chapter 7   Narratives of Sacrifice and Autonomy
 
Chapter 8   Taste, Credit, and Bullets
 
Chapter 9   Squatters, Cart-Pullers, and Demolition
 

 
Conclusion
 
Epilogue
 
Methodological Appendix
Notes
Works Cited
Index
 

 

Author


 
Matías Dewey is a senior researcher in sociology at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He was a visiting scholar at the Extra-Legal Governance Institute at the University of Oxford, at MaxPo in Paris, and most recently at the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of El orden clandestino, a Spanish-language book on illegal markets in Argentina, and a co-editor of The Architecture of Illegal Markets: Towards an Economic Sociology of Illegality in the Economy. His articles have appeared in Socio-Economic Review, Latin American Research Review, Journal of Latin American Studies, and Current Sociology.
 
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