The Devil behind the Mirror

The Devil behind the Mirror: Globalization and Politics in the Dominican Republic

STEVEN GREGORY
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 1
Pages: 298
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pnsgs
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  • Book Info
    The Devil behind the Mirror
    Book Description:

    InThe Devil behind the Mirror,Steven Gregory provides a compelling and intimate account of the impact that transnational processes associated with globalization are having on the lives and livelihoods of people in the Dominican Republic. Grounded in ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the adjacent towns of Boca Chica and Andrés, Gregory's study deftly demonstrates how transnational flows of capital, culture, and people are mediated by contextually specific power relations, politics, and history. He explores such topics as the informal economy, the making of a telenova, sex tourism, and racism and discrimination against Haitians, who occupy the lowest rung on the Dominican economic ladder. Innovative and beautifully written,The Devil behind the Mirrormasterfully situates the analysis of global economic change in everyday lives.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94012-3
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    Paco’s Café sat at the bustling intersection of Calle El Conde and Palo Hicado, a broad avenue that formed part of the traffic-choked ring road surrounding Parque Independencia at the edge of Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone. A favorite meeting place for foreign expatriates and Dominicans, Paco’s was jammed with patrons who would pass the hours talking and watching the throngs of people that circulated through El Conde, a pedestrian promenade lined with fast-food restaurants, clothing stores, and street vendors.

    From my table I could see the military honor guard posted at the Puerta del Conde (Gate of the Count), an...

  6. 1 The Politics of Livelihood
    (pp. 11-49)

    I had been in Boca Chica for two weeks and still had not seen Minaya. I made it a daily practice to walk from one end of the beach to the other to cultivate relationships with people who, like Minaya, made their living selling goods and services to foreign tourists. I would begin at the fortresslike Coral Hamaca Beach Hotel and Casino at the eastern end of town and walk west, pausing along the way to speak with vendors, guides, and touts who worked at the bars and restaurants along the beach. Midway along the trek I would stop at...

  7. 2 The Spatial Economy of Difference
    (pp. 50-91)

    Gabriel Zapata’s Hostal Zapata, on prime beachfront next to the Boca Chica Resort, was considered one of the best-managed businesses in Boca Chica. In the 1970s Zapata’s parents had sent him to the United States to escape political persecution under the regime of Joaquín Balaguer, who became president after the overthrow of Juan Bosch and the U.S. military intervention in 1965. As a leftist student activist and supporter of Bosch’s Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD), Zapata had been a likely target of Balaguer’s military and paramilitary forces. In the United States Zapata became a successful businessman and eventually owned real estate...

  8. 3 Structures of the Imagination
    (pp. 92-129)

    People told different versions of the story of why Dolores went mad. I would often see her sleeping on a bench in Parque Central, opposite the Catholic church, nestled among plastic garbage bags stuffed with her personal belongings. At night I would see her wandering along Calle Duarte, barefoot and sometimes raving, accosting tourists in the bars and eateries and demanding a beer, a cigarette, or a few pesos. For Dolores never begged, and despite her apparent madness and the wretchedness of her condition, she carried herself with dignity, demanding and often receiving respect from all those whom she encountered....

  9. 4 Sex Tourism and the Political Economy of Masculinity
    (pp. 130-165)

    Jimmy’s Bar and Grill was set back about twenty yards from the beach, nestled among palms. It was the last remaining example of the weekendcabañasbuilt by affluentcapitaleñosin an earlier era. The bar was owned by Jimmy Ryan, an expatriate from Boston who had lived in Boca Chica for more than twenty years. Since the late 1980s Jimmy’s Bar had been a popular meeting place for male tourists who traveled to the island to meet Dominican women. On any given day about two dozen men would stop to drink, to socialize with other Americans, or to ask...

  10. 5 Race, Identity, and the Body Politic
    (pp. 166-208)

    Gérard Avin died on August 28, 2001, one week before I left the field. I wanted to go to his funeral, but, amid the rumors and confusion surrounding his death, I had lost touch with the people who were making the arrangements. I found out about his funeral after the fact. Miriam, the caretaker of the building in which I lived, approached me as I was packing and told me that she had heard that a memorial service had been held in Andrés only the day before. She had also heard that Gérard had been buried in a cemetery on...

  11. 6 The Politics of Transnational Capital
    (pp. 209-233)

    In February 2001 a multinational consortium announced the completion of planning for a large port facility at Punta Caucedo, just to the west of Andrés and Boca Chica. The plan, officially dubbed the Zona Franca Multi-Modal Caucedo (Caucedo Multimodal Free Trade Zone), called for the construction of a state-of-the-art, deepwater containership port linked to an FTZ industrial park.¹ The Megapuerto (Megaport), as it came to be known, was the result of a $250 million joint venture between U.S.-owned CSX World Terminals and the Caucedo Development Corporation, a partnership of three Dominican businessmen. The project was financed by a consortium of...

  12. Afterword
    (pp. 234-246)

    In June 2005 I returned to Boca Chica, a little less than four years after having completed fieldwork there. Much had changed since then. The Zona Franca Multi-Modal Caucedo had been completed, and from the beach I could see the huge unloading cranes perched over the docks, dwarfing the landscape around them. A group of children stood waist deep in the water, following the progress of a containership as it steadily navigated the narrow channel across the coral reef to the port and terminal.

    Capital too had been on the move. Earlier in 2005, CSX World Terminals had sold its...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 247-260)
  14. References
    (pp. 261-274)
  15. Index
    (pp. 275-285)