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Accepted Paper:

Same work, different city: the economic lives of Belizean and Central American construction workers living and in Belize City, Belize  
Giuseppe Troccoli (Universidad Católica de Temuco)

Paper short abstract:

This paper traces differential resource circulation for workers living in Belize City and employed in the construction sector in terms of the various ways they live the city and participate in different aspects of its economic life, rather than through applying migration-based categories.

Paper long abstract:

The paper traces how workers navigate their place in an economic sector characterized by unstable and low income by focusing on how their common experiences of vulnerability, precariousness, and flexibility are differentially shaped. This presentation which is based on twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork (2015-2016) with Belizean and Central American construction workers in Belize City, Belize, juxtaposes their experiences of making a living in this city. Instead of taking the migrant/non-migrant dichotomy as an analytical starting point, the paper understands workers’ participation in economic life within this sector as embedded in wider aspects of economic relevance such as household formation, kinship ties, turf belonging, and legal status. These aspects that contribute to living in the same urban environment in different ways are pivotal to the differential allocation of resources and contribute to how workers understand themselves and signify their livelihoods. By considering provisioning as the integration of various aspects of people’s lives characterized by different social relations (Narotzky 2005) what emerges is that differential resource circulation is better understood in terms of the various lengths and ways of residing in the city, rather than through applying migration-based categories.

Panel P070
Making ends meet: Exploring social provisioning beyond migrant/non-migrant binaries
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -