Recovering experience, confirming identity, voicing resistance: The Braceros

Little, Stephen and Clegg, Stewart (2005). Recovering experience, confirming identity, voicing resistance: The Braceros. Critical Perspectives on International Business, 1(2-3) pp. 123–136.



Purpose – This paper investigates how the learning trajectory of corporations utilising information and communication technologies has been matched by the labour movement and social movements associated with it.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper investigates new communication dynamics of labour in the international setting. It then focuses on a broader and richer set of online practices by labour by drawing on material placed on the world wide web by members of and advocates for the Braceros (the strong arms) – migrant Mexican workers. These practices follow on a history of effective use of the new information communication technologies by the Zapatista movement in Mexico.
Findings – The paper places these activities in the context of globalisation and the global movement of capital and labour. It argues that the practices of online communication associated with the Braceros can be harnessed to move beyond the reactive shadowing of capital by labour. Instead innovative and proactive forms of monitoring policies and critiquing outcomes become possible.
Practical implications – Internet-based counter-coordination allows the construction and diffusion of a different understanding of the nature and consequences of the current mode of globalisation.
Originality/value – The paper demonstrates the ways in which information and communication technologies can be used to engage in thematic mapping and construction of memory by labour and provides an example of the electronic sampling and indexing of material.

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