Red Flags and Lace Coiffes: Identity and Survival in a Breton Village

By Charles R. Menzies

© 2011

This book explores the question of why fishing communities continue their struggle to survive, despite often calamitous changes in ecology and economy. Using historical ethnography as a lens through which to understand how fishers of the Bigouden region of France and their families have reinvented themselves, Menzies argues that local identity plays an important role in their perseverance as global capitalist pressures continually force them to reorganize or disappear entirely.

Touching on many concepts that are fundamental to anthropology—culture, identity, kinship, work, political economy, and globalization—and filled with personal stories and warmth, this ethnography will be a welcome teaching tool for instructors and an enticing read for students.

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Product Details

  • Series: Teaching Culture: UTP Ethnographies for the Classroom
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.4in x 9.0in
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SKU# HE000447

  • PUBLISHED AUG 2011

    From: $25.46

    Regular Price: $29.95

    ISBN 9781442605121
  • PUBLISHED AUG 2011
    From: $24.95

Quick Overview

This book explores the question of why fishing communities continue their struggle to survive, despite often calamitous changes in ecology and economy.

Red Flags and Lace Coiffes: Identity and Survival in a Breton Village

By Charles R. Menzies

© 2011

This book explores the question of why fishing communities continue their struggle to survive, despite often calamitous changes in ecology and economy. Using historical ethnography as a lens through which to understand how fishers of the Bigouden region of France and their families have reinvented themselves, Menzies argues that local identity plays an important role in their perseverance as global capitalist pressures continually force them to reorganize or disappear entirely.

Touching on many concepts that are fundamental to anthropology—culture, identity, kinship, work, political economy, and globalization—and filled with personal stories and warmth, this ethnography will be a welcome teaching tool for instructors and an enticing read for students.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Teaching Culture: UTP Ethnographies for the Classroom
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.4in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    Red Flags and Lace Coiffes delivers the goods when it comes to providing an in-depth account of the advent of the artisanal fishery from the perspective of production. It employs a variety of data sources to inquire into the roles of social class, gender, and kinship in sustaining the fishery. In addition, the author's work experience as a fisher allows him to succinctly identify key aspects of Bigouden marine ecology and the ever improving industrial foraging technologies that make fishing possible and economically viable in the region.
    Anthropologica

    Menzies has given us a fine read—an engaging and beautifully written portrait of daily life in a Breton village and the historical struggles of fishers to maintain their livelihoods. This is a book with a heart, but it also includes a solid analysis of the global forces with which artisanal ways of life continually do battle.
    Karen Brodkin, University of California, Los Angeles

    Menzies’s ethnography will be extremely effective for teaching undergraduate students. It delivers sophisticated lessons in political economy analysis through a lively and accessible discussion of the historical and contemporary Bigouden fishery.
    Sharon Roseman, Memorial University
  • Author Information

    Charles R. Menzies is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and Director of the Ethnographic Film Unit. He is director of an accompanying film about the Breton fishery, Face a la Tempete—Weather the Storm (Bullfrog Films, 2008) and editor of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Natural Resource Management (University of Nebraska Press, 2006).
  • Table of contents

    List of Figures and Tables

    Preface

    Introduction

    Situating the Field
    Where is the Bigoudennie?

    Part One: A Local Politics of Survival

    1. Social Struggle at "la fin de si├Ęcle"

    Night of Fire
    On to Crisis
    Days of Protest
    The Impact of the Crisis on Everyday Life
    Neo-Liberal Globalization and Social Conflict
    Conclusion

    2. Symbols of Struggle: Red Flags, Lace Coiffes, and Social Class

    Strikes and Demonstrations
    Putting Food on the Table
    Symbols of the Strikes and Demonstrations
    Lace Coiffes and Industrial Work
    Conclusion

    Part Two: The Material Conditions of the Everyday

    3. Episode, Not Epoch: Building Capitalism in the Hinterland

    From Peasant to Worker
    The Rise of the Trawl Fishery
    Social Relations of Production
    Conclusion

    4. Working at Sea

    A Day at Sea
    Skippers, Crews, and the Family at Sea
    Work First! Eat Later: Social Class at Sea
    Social Class and the Artisanal Fishing Experience
    The Development of the Bigouden Fishing Fleet
    Boats and their General Characteristics
    Conclusion

    5. Working Ashore

    Fishermen and Women in Fishing Communities: A Global Overview
    Women's Work and Fishing in the Bigoudennie
    Socio-economic Differences and Women's Work
    Conclusion

    6. The Difference a Family Makes

    Luc and Martine Kernevad
    Gilbert and Catherine Bazhad
    Families and the Maintenance of Property

    Conclusion

    The Argument
    The Future of the Bigouden Fishery

    Glossary

    References

    Index

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