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Coloniality and the Contours of Global Production in the Dominican Republic and Haiti



Abstract:  To destabilize sequentialist, stage-like understandings of global production, this paper examines changing relations of accumulation taking shape in the garment export industry in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. I draw upon a framework called “the coloniality of power” to consider the reworking of the social and spatial boundaries between hyper-exploited wage work and the people and places cast out from its relations. Through a critical ethnography of a restructuring garment firm and its operations in a trade zone on the Dominican–Haitian border, I argue for attention to how places and labouring bodies are marked differentially as Other. The production of racialized and gendered hierarchies of Otherness creates the conditions for relational and relative North–South divides, constituting uneven and fragmented geographies of production.