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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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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The Value of a Second Skin

The Value of a Second Skin

(p.125) 5 The Value of a Second Skin
Fires on the Border

Rosemary Hennessy

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the affect-culture that adheres to feminized sexual identities and their calculation in the value form. It discusses social identity as a second skin that gets folded into the value of the labor power workers exchange for a wage and that is reproduced at home. It brings together research on the body as an accumulation strategy, on transsexual embodiment, and on materialist approaches to the production of value and the narratives of homosexual workers in the maquiladoras of Mexico who spearheaded campaigns for better wages and working conditions. Their insights shed light on the lived and contested value of gender and sexual identity within the fundamental logic of capital by fleshing out the embodied, affective dimension of abjection that identity formation entails—a process analogous to taking on and giving over a second skin. The chapter also discusses queer theory and the class politics of queer visibility under neoliberal capitalism before concluding with an analysis of socialism as it relates to the sensibility of one’s affective-cultural second skin.

Keywords:   affect-culture, social identity, second skin, homosexual workers, maquiladoras, Mexico, gender, sexual identity, capitalism, socialism

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