7. . . In Conjugated Oppression: Class And Ethnicity Among
1495 Words6 Pages
In Conjugated Oppression: Class and Ethnicity among Guaymi and Kuna
Banana Workers, ethnologist Philippe Bourgois argues that there are new approaches in the analysis of ethnicity and the conflicts between class and power that occur within it. Thus, the discussion of the relationship between ethnicity and class, a debate on the discernment of ideology and material reality, is increasingly present. He also asserts that by accepting a definition of ideology as a belief system present in power relations, then ethnicity is socially important as a form of ideological expression. Ideology as part of "material reality" in conjunction with political processes are also components of obtaining “class consciousness”. The author stated:…show more content… The Guaymi and The Kuna as Unit Fruit Company workers
Both the Guaymi and the Kuna became members of the United Fruit Company in the province of Bocas del Toro in the early 1950s, and even though they came from more or less similar economic spheres, their political structures differed very much in the community context and in their relations to the corporate entities. The result is a profoundly different experience of economic exploitation and ideological domination. The oppression of the Guaymi, says Bourgois, is different in comparison to the Kuna, the Guaymi endure what he calls a "conjugated" oppression.
“Conjugated oppression occurs when an economic structure…conflates with ideology…to create an experience of oppression that is more than merely the sum of its constituent parts: class and ideology.”[footnoteRef:3] [3: Ibid. 330]
Plantation residents define and categorize the characteristics of the different labor force groups to describe and maintain the power relations originated in the productive process. Such situation represents a chance to observe "ethnicity in its ideological expression as part of a material social process."[footnoteRef:4] [4: Ibid.332]
The beginnings on the jobs within the company for the Guaymi were hard, to say the least. In 1950, labor recruiters sponsored by the