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

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

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

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

Synopsis

"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.

Excerpt

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.

Outside, the atmosphere was that of a fair. Music of the Backstreet Boys throbbed in the tropical, cotton-candy-scented night air. Some clowns, who happened to be friends of Rafael’s, introduced the gringa . . .

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