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Latin American Perspectives , Volume 10 (4): 2 – Oct 1, 1983


Sage Publications
Copyright © 1983 by SAGE Publications
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Introduction SAGE Publications, Inc.1983DOI: 10.1177/0094582X8301000401 The papers in this issue range over a variety of themes indicated in the issue title. Based on their research and experiences in Colombia, Anna Rubbo and Michael Taussig deal with a large group of highly exploited but largely invisible workers, namely live-in female household servants. The main strength of this paper is the combining of fine grained ethnographic description of the working conditions of Colombian women servants with a more general class analysis of their place in Colombian society and their political tendencies. Of special interest is the authors' examination of how female servanthood reproduces oppressive relations in the society at large. As Rubbo and Taussig say, servanthood "is an essential link between the macrostructure of political life and the microstructure of domestic and personal existence .... " Of no small role here is its influence on middle-and upper-class children who grow up accustomed to having docile servants at their beck and call. And closely intertwined with these relationships are the corrupting sexist aspects of this institution. This paper is an excellent anthropological analysis of the relationships between day-to-day life conditions in which people find themselves and which affect their consciousness and
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