Accepted Paper:

How is unemployment contributing to capital accumulation in the context of the present crisis? The case of agricultural daily(unemployed)workers in Vélez Málaga  

Author:

Diana Sarkis (Universidad de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

This paper considers the dialectics between the state regulatory framework regarding agricultural work and unemployment and the forms that capital/labour relations adopt in the subtropical sector of Vélez Málaga. It aims to grasp the entangling between state benefits and chains of exploitation in daily labour

Paper long abstract:

During the current crisis in the construction and service sectors, intensive subtropical agro-export became one of the epicenters of economic dynamism in Vélez-Málaga (Spain). From the point of view of capital, intensive subtropical agro-export is characterized by high profit international chains of processing and commercialization, as well as expanding markets. Meanwhile self-employed familiar work and precarious dailywork are dominant at the level of production. An apparent paradox pervades daily work: an important part of the workers are formally unemployed, not only in the sense that they are not legally contracted, but also because they continue to obtain their unemployment benefits (subsidio agrario). Alongside the resistance of employers to formalize employment contracts, the absence of formalization responds to a direct pressure put by daily workers to conserve their unemployment benefits; particularly because of the conditions defined by the State Program of Agrarian Employment (PROFEA/PER).

This paper considers the dialectics between the state regulatory framework regarding agricultural work and unemployment and the forms that capital/labour relations adopt in the subtropical sector of Vélez Málaga. It aims to grasp the entangling between minimal state benefits and chains of exploitation in daily labour, beyond the unemployment/employment dichotomy. For this purpose I bring together the perspective of feminist economics on the transfer of value produced outside the wage realm to support capital accumulation (Dalla Costa y James, 2005 [1972], Federici, 2011, Hartsock, 2011) and recent discussions about the liquid boundaries between formal and informal economy (Martínez Veiga, 2008).

Panel P080
New trends in the anthropology of unemployment after the economic crisis of 2008-9 [Anthropology of Economy Network]