Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Working Hard, Drinking Hard

Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras

Adrienne Pine
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Pages: 272
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Working Hard, Drinking Hard
    Book Description:

    "Honduras is violent." Adrienne Pine situates this oft-repeated claim at the center of her vivid and nuanced chronicle of Honduran subjectivity. Through an examination of three major subject areas—violence, alcohol, and the export-processing (maquiladora) industry—Pine explores the daily relationships and routines of urban Hondurans. She views their lives in the context of the vast economic footprint on and ideological domination of the region by the United States, powerfully elucidating the extent of Honduras's dependence. She provides a historically situated ethnographic analysis of this fraught relationship and the effect it has had on Hondurans' understanding of who they are. The result is a rich and visceral portrait of a culture buffeted by the forces of globalization and inequality.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94162-5
    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-xiv)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-24)

    On June 30, 2000, my friends Juli Kang, Rafael Espinoza, and I went to the San Pedro Sula Expo Center to have a look around. Inside, biggerthan-life cardboard Ricky Martins beckoned to us to “¡Pide más!” (Ask for more!) as teenage girls in shiny blue fake-alligator-skin dresses served free samples of Pepsi. Nearby, the Lovable (pronounced Loe-vahblay) booth displayed its made-in-Honduras lingerie line. A Christian bookstore competed for floor space with the Finlandia vodka girls. Across from a booth peddling menstrual pain medication was the Embutidos California (California Sausages) booth. Its logo: A happy pig under a Star of David....

  6. ONE Violence
    (pp. 25-84)

    On the day that I moved to the maquiladora town of Choloma in 1999, I saw a man die. I was buying household supplies in a hardware store when I heard and felt a boom and the lights went out. I went outside to look, along with the owner and other customers, and saw a cable on the ground and a man lying motionless near a bicycle. The man began to convulse violently in what I assumed were death throes until I noticed that the cable was actually tangled around and underneath him, electrocuting him as I watched. A crowd...

  7. TWO Alcohol
    (pp. 85-134)

    “What do you want to know?” Edgar at thepollera(working-class bar), asked me. “I will give you good information.” I told him I was interested in popular sayings about alcohol, and I gave him an example, something Teto had told me earlier in the day: “Children and drunks always tell the truth.”

    “No,” Edgar said, “there’s one more! What is it, what is it? There’s one more who tells the truth!” Edgar asked his drunken friend, “Hey, who else is it who tells the truth? The child, the drunk, and . . .”

    El loco!” replied his friend.


  8. THREE Maquiladoras
    (pp. 135-191)

    Honduras has a long history of entering into external debt to subsidize foreign-owned industries that are attracted to the country by its cheap labor and economic incentive packages, both of which exist in large measurebecauseof its external debt. If there is a story to be told about maquiladoras and the cycle of poverty in Honduras, it should begin here.

    The Rosario mining company was the first postindependence company to dictate policy to the government of Honduras. However, Honduras, the original “banana republic,” is best known for itsoro verde,or green gold. Cuyamel Fruit Company, later United Fruit...

  9. Conclusion
    (pp. 192-204)

    Despite changes in administrations and attitudes in the nearly ten years since I began doing research in Honduras, violence has remained the central feature of Honduran subjectification, with discipline as its remedy. Disciplined bodies are, of course, central to the success of capitalism. They are also one strand of the cord that binds alcohol, maquiladoras, and state violence together. Violence, as the leitmotiv of Honduran society, is generally understood as a direct result of a lack of bodily discipline among Hondurans. In the realms of consumption, production, and government repression, discipline provides both a solution to and—on the failure...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 205-224)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 225-242)
  12. Index
    (pp. 243-253)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 254-254)