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Fires on the BorderThe Passionate Politics of Labor Organizing on the Mexican Frontera$
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Rosemary Hennessy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816647583

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816647583.001.0001

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Feeling Bodies, Jeans, Justice

Feeling Bodies, Jeans, Justice

Chapter:
(p.151) 6 Feeling Bodies, Jeans, Justice
Source:
Fires on the Border
Author(s):

Rosemary Hennessy

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816647583.003.0006

This chapter examines the impact of capital deregulation on bodies and affects as crucial components of neoliberal economy and culture by focusing on the multinational blue jean marketing company Levi Strauss. More specifically, it considers neoliberalism’s impact on the regulation of life, including affects as biocultural mediators of sexual identity’s second skins, and its implications for the changing contradictory affective value attached to homosexuality and perceptions of what is real. After discussing neoliberal biopolitics and sexualities, the chapter documents the history of Levi’s movement offshore to a maquiladora assembly workforce in Mexico during the 1990s as it parallels the company’s intensified gay marketing and philanthropy and an emerging homonormative culture in the United States. It shows how the history of runaway factories and gay marketing takes on a new valence when seen in relation to the 2005 Lajat Workers’ Union’s campaign against Levi Strauss & Co. in Gómez Palacio, Durango.

Keywords:   capital deregulation, affect, Levi Strauss, neoliberalism, sexual identity, homosexuality, maquiladora, Mexico, gay marketing, Lajat Workers’ Union

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