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Growing up Global

Growing up Global: Economic Restructuring and Children’s Everyday Lives

Cindi Katz
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 330
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  • Book Info
    Growing up Global
    Book Description:

    Growing Up Global examines global change through children’s lives in two seemingly disparate places: New York City and Sudan. The book’s core is a study of children in a Sudanese village that was included in a state-sponsored agricultural program. Shifting her focus to working-class families in New York City, Cindi Katz exposes connections with the Sudanese in the effects of a capitalist environment on children.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9518-8
    Subjects: Population Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  4. Part I Fluid Dynamics

    • 1. A Child’s Day in Howa
      (pp. 3-22)

      An Errand.Almost every morning as the sun reached the horizon Ismail awoke, slipped into his flip-flops, and trundled off to the butcher shop to get meat for his family. On most days mutton or goat was available from at least one of the two butchers who worked in the village. Demand almost always exceeded supply, and unless it was one of the three or so days a month when a cow was slaughtered, Ismail needed to be early to get any meat at all.

      Although located on different sides of Howa, neither butcher shop was more than a few...

    • 2. The Political Economy and Ecology of Howa Village
      (pp. 23-56)

      The village of Howa was established in the late nineteenth century on the ephemeral Dinder River, which provided a year-round source of water either from subsurface wells or the stream in flow. The village is approximately twenty-five kilometers from the nearest market town, Dinder or al-Gueisi, which also serves as an administrative center for the district. Forty kilometers west is Sennar, a market and provincial administrative center on the Blue Nile in central eastern Sudan. Howa was established by pastoralists (predominantly Kawahla, Hamada, Sherifa) about twelve years before the Mahdiya, a brief period of Islamist independence in Sudan ushered in...

  5. Part II Social Reproduction

    • 3. Children’s Work and Play
      (pp. 59-108)

      It’s mid-July and everybody is weeding. Tenants, their sons, nephews, brothers, and hired hands are immersed in the first of four weedings. Ismail has been assisting his maternal uncle Said in their groundnut fields for the last couple of weeks. On one of these mornings he met up with his uncle at his grandparents’ compound just before seven o’clock and they went together to his tenancy, just near the major canal. Getting to the fields around seven-thirty, Ismail and his young uncle set to work up and down the rows. They used the short-handled hoe (kedunka) mandated by the project...

    • 4. Knowing Subjects/Abstracting Knowledge
      (pp. 109-133)

      The first time I went to Howa was with a Khartoum University geography department field trip. I taught in Khartoum the year before my fieldwork, and during our Blue Nile Province field excursion (with 130 people and all the trappings of a British university field trip, it was more like an expedition), I commandeered a small group of students to accompany me to Howa. While the students fanned out and did a brief field survey (the results of which I foolishly never got), I arranged my future with a sheikh who turned out to be fairly powerless. But that is...

    • 5. Distrupted Landscapes of Production and Reproduction
      (pp. 134-152)

      Maybe it was the lorries. Maybe it was something else—the plumpness of those wooly sheep, the disappearance of the doleibs, something in the air. But virtually every child—girl or boy, rich or poor, student or not—went to market in the course of their “geodramas.”¹ No matter what the plot or how long its duration, at one point or another each child put a miniature sheep, goat, or even a cow in a toy truck and went to town to sell it. Getting and spending were already a big part of the game in Howa, and selling off...

  6. Part III Displacements

    • 6. New York Parallax; or, You Can’t Drive a Chevy through a Post-Fordist Landscape
      (pp. 155-183)

      Metaphors of displacement became commonplace by the end of the twentieth century. This is not surprising in a century characterized by physical dislocations—forced and chosen—in numbers, at scales, and across distances heretofore unprecedented. At the start of the twenty-first century, the metaphors of displacement riddling the language suggest something other than “simple” physical dislocation—something spatial, but not physical at all. Postmodern discourse, for instance, heralds the displacement of received notions of progress, while globalization is touted as a “space of flows” and simultaneity is celebrated as the spatialization of time (see Soja 1989; Castells 1996). As Castells...

    • 7. Howa at the End of the Millennium
      (pp. 185-222)

      Why, I wondered, had I assumed that getting to Howa would be just like before? As I stood on the eastern side of the Sennar Dam Bridge early in the summer of 1995 looking in vain for a truck or four-wheel-drive vehicle going my way—I’d already given up on finding a familiar face—I began to feel like a total idiot for not imagining that everything would have changed. All I had done the last decade was imagine change, but when it came to “real life” rather than rhetoric, I seemed to be stuck on the bridge with all...

  7. PART IV Topographies of Global Capitalism

    • 8. The Strange Familiar
      (pp. 225-238)

      The perseverance of Howa’s rural assemblage may be counted as a victory in the small wars of attrition that proletarianization sparks. Local residents were not driven from the countryside in the numbers witnessed in other places experiencing similar politicaleconomic and political-ecological disruptions of enduring (but not unchanging) social relations of production and reproduction. The seismic displacements I had imagined and predicted after my earlier field research mercifully had not occurred. Nevertheless, some of the familiar had been rendered strange and some of the hitherto strange had grown increasingly familiar. The sociospatial form in which people in Howa were able to...

    • 9. Negotiating the Recent Future
      (pp. 239-260)

      If the shape and circumstances of the strange familiar associated with time-space expansion and rural cosmopolitanism call forth and reflect material social practices that interlace old with new and enable people to get by, reconfigure themselves, and reimagine if not reconstruct their worlds, then it is important to look at how these practices intersect with and alter the arc of capitalism’s engagements with their community. In this vein I don’t have anything that compelling or comforting to say. The process of transformation is uneven, slippery, and shot through with as many derailments as possibilities. The cultural forms and practices of...

  8. Appendix: Children’s Work
    (pp. 261-264)
  9. Glossary: Colloquial Sudanese Arabic Terms
    (pp. 265-268)
  10. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 269-274)
  11. Notes
    (pp. 275-292)
  12. Works Cited
    (pp. 293-302)
  13. Index
    (pp. 303-312)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 313-313)