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From the Resources of Poverty to the Poverty of Resources. The Erosion of a Survival Model Mercedes Gonzalez de le Rocha By Taylor Vance. The Erosion of a Survival Model. No longer : “The poor simply worked hard in order to make ends meet, persisted as the ultimate truth. “

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from the resources of poverty to the poverty of resources
From the Resources of Poverty to the Poverty of Resources

The Erosion of a Survival Model

Mercedes Gonzalez de le Rocha

By Taylor Vance

the erosion of a survival model
The Erosion of a Survival Model
  • No longer : “The poor simply worked hard in order to make ends meet, persisted as the ultimate truth. “
  • But household-focused research increasingly concentrated on the survival strategies employed by the urban poor and working class.
  • Mercedes's research is based on urban Mexico in the mid 1990s.
  • She was looking for the multiplicity of resources that men and women in the households are able to put to work.
    • Meaning that she wanted to know how they made do with what little they had.
    • She is understanding how the poor cope with their poverty.
the resources of poverty
The Resources of Poverty
  • Households relied heavily on petty commodity production and petty trade.
    • Women- baked, cooked and sewed for sale
    • Men- carpentry, bricklaying, and plumbing.
diversity of income
Diversity of Income
  • Washing and ironing clothes, housecleaning, sewing, and household construction- mostly done my women.
    • Women had the essential role of reproduction of labor power.
diversity of income1
Diversity of Income
  • Social exchange was the central network for these families support systems.
    • A flow of goods between friends, neighbors, workmates, and relatives.
    • Helped low-income households to meet social standards of living.
    • Key to survival
      • Mercedes's found that the poorest of the poor were socially isolated.
multiplicity of occupations
Multiplicity of Occupations
  • Occupational Heterogeneity- result of low wages and the need to combine several incomes to survive.
  • Larger families would receive more incomes.
gonzalez de la rocha s approach
Gonzalez de la Rocha’s Approach
  • To see households in a social setting where confrontations and negotiations are developed in a context of a internal equality.
  • Say that poverty is a phenomenon that differently affects those within the household.

“Taking the roof off of the household in order to observe its internal differences and dynamics was useful for detecting the poorest of the poor within the households.” – pg. 9

availability of jobs
Availability of Jobs
  • Children around 15 years old were expected to start their careers.
  • Individuals could opt for informal or formal sectors of work.
  • Informal was more likely
  • Everyone worked in varying degrees, but everyone worked.
working poor
Working Poor
  • Developed to assess the relationship of poverty and economic participation.
  • Because of low wages, survival was not guaranteed for working poor individuals, households were the key.
  • This was the start of adult women in the work force in the informal sector.
    • Informal employment grew by 80 percent.
    • The opening of local markets to foreign goods impacted local manufacturing and many firms closed down.
nuclear households
Nuclear Households
  • Proportion of extended households increased
  • This meant more available members to create an income- savings mechanism.
    • Daughters and sons had an increase in participation in the labor market.
changes in household patterns
Changes in Household Patterns
  • At first household consumption ( clothing and entertainment) was either restricted or eliminated in order to afford food.
  • Less meat more carbohydrates
  • The poorest households have women as the main economic providors.
    • But women were better equiped to protect their regular patterns of consumption
      • Less change in diets ( lesser quality meats)
      • Less violence
      • Equal distribution of responsibilities
different conditions today
Different Conditions Today
  • Unemployment disrupted household economics.
  • Women are more than just additional income, they are increasingly becoming the breadwinners of the households.