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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2009

Amanda Berlan

The purpose of this paper is to provide ethnographic data on the lives of children working in cocoa‐producing communities in Ghana and to illustrate the importance of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide ethnographic data on the lives of children working in cocoa‐producing communities in Ghana and to illustrate the importance of contextualisation in understanding the phenomenon of child labour.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on anthropological fieldwork carried out in Ghana using participant observation and child‐focused participatory research methods. It also includes an analysis of media sources and policy documents.

Findings

It shows that the children involved in this study worked freely and willingly on family cocoa farms. It also shows that research and interventions must be context‐based and child‐centred as forms of child labour in cocoa are not uniform across West Africa.

Research limitations/implications

Unfortunately, the scope of the paper does not allow for a discussion of recent interventions and progress relating to child labour in the West African cocoa industry.

Originality/value

This paper challenges many of the assumptions made about child labour in cocoa and offers new insights into the lives of children in these communities.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 29 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2008

Amanda Berlan

This chapter contrasts the representation of Third World farmers in Fair Trade marketing campaigns with data drawn from long-term fieldwork involving cocoa producers in…

Abstract

This chapter contrasts the representation of Third World farmers in Fair Trade marketing campaigns with data drawn from long-term fieldwork involving cocoa producers in Ghana and evidence provided by older anthropological monographs on these communities. In doing so, it practically illustrates the disparity between global assumptions and local perspectives on production and consumption. The key contention underlying this chapter is that the representation of producers as needy, helpless, and disgruntled with multinational corporations is deeply problematic. Such a representation reveals a significant and somewhat concerning discrepancy between the lives of farmers and the narratives displayed in Western campaigns for trade justice. By using fieldwork data and earlier anthropological literature showing the determination, ingenuity, and far-sighted strategies of cocoa farmers in Ghana, this chapter demonstrates that producers in the Third World are not the passive and helpless individuals they are sometimes portrayed as.

Details

Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-059-9

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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2008

Geert De Neve, Peter Luetchford and Jeffrey Pratt

The first theme is the “problem” of personal relations in the economy. Under neo-liberalism the Market is treated as universal, a trans-historical and trans-cultural…

Abstract

The first theme is the “problem” of personal relations in the economy. Under neo-liberalism the Market is treated as universal, a trans-historical and trans-cultural entity; it is naturalised and reified, rather than thought of as a set of social relations; it is treated as a given rather than the result of a historical process with complex social actors. This view of the Market dovetails with a particular understanding of the individual, as driven primarily by a (universal and naturalised) desire to maximise material well-being and seek out value for money, while an “invisible hand,” rather than known personal needs, provides the mechanism to relate supply to demand.

Details

Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-059-9

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Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2012

Donald C. Wood

Four years ago I co-edited a book with Geert De Neve and two of his colleagues at the University of Sussex – Jeff Pratt and Peter Luetchford. The chapters had originally…

Abstract

Four years ago I co-edited a book with Geert De Neve and two of his colleagues at the University of Sussex – Jeff Pratt and Peter Luetchford. The chapters had originally been presented at the Hidden Hands in the Market workshop held at Sussex in April of 2007 and organized by Geert, Jeff, and Peter. After hearing about the workshop I wrote to Geert, hoping to scoop up a few bits of gold for REA, but as it turned out I had struck the mother lode. Our co-edited book was Volume 28 of REAHidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility (2008) – one of the installments that I remain proudest of, and the first REA volume under Emerald with which I was directly involved. The volume explores the relationship between producers and consumers, focusing on its moral and political content, in a very broad sense.

Details

Political Economy, Neoliberalism, and the Prehistoric Economies of Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-059-8

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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2008

Abstract

Details

Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-059-9

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