Outsourcing otherness: crafting and marketing culture in the global handicrafts market
Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility
ISBN: 978-1-84855-058-2, eISBN: 978-1-84855-059-9
Publication date: 1 September 2008
This chapter examines the commercial handicrafts market from Bali, Indonesia to the United States. Using ethnographic examples gathered from research among handicrafts producers, fair trade activists and handicrafts distributors I explore the influence of intermediaries (buyers, distributors, designers) in determining the cultural and economic value of ethnic handicrafts sold in the international marketplace. Over the past two decades, the village of Tegallalang has diversified its crafts industry to specialize in the mass-production of non-Balinese “ethnic art” (e.g., Native American dreamcatchers, Moroccan furniture, and African masks). While Balinese view the global handicrafts market as an opportunity to pursue cosmopolitan, modern, and middle-class identities, this chapter discusses how non-Balinese intermediaries regularly engage in forms of cultural capital that assert their dominance over handicrafts producers in the global South. The work of a Balinese fair trade organization is also examined in this chapter, and their efforts to redirect consumer attention away from the ethnocentric categories of authenticity and tradition and instead focus on workers’ rights and fair compensation.
Esperanza, J.S. (2008), "Outsourcing otherness: crafting and marketing culture in the global handicrafts market", De Neve, G., Peter, L., Pratt, J. and Wood, D.C. (Ed.) Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility (Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 71-95. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0190-1281(08)28004-2
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