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"Amoy isda": the middle class life of market fishmongers

Turgo, Nelson ORCID: 2017. "Amoy isda": the middle class life of market fishmongers. AghamTao 25 (2) , pp. 201-230.

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Fishing communities, especially in developing economies, are,most often than not, economically, socially, and spatially positioned in the fringes of society. People whose lives revolve around fishing and its ancillaries are looked down upon because they are perceived as dirty, uncouth, and unlettered and the very opposite of 'being modern'. This is so in the case of a fishing community to be discussed here, though there is a group of people in the fishing community who in some interesting ways resist this broad denigrating socio-cultural description. They do not see themselves as part of the socio-spatial 'other'. Some market fishmongers, by virtue of their good income in relation to the rest of the community, live, in their own reckoning, a modern life: they have relatively big concrete houses with modern amenities and do as most middle-class living in the town centre would also do. But their 'modern life' as it were, is fraught with contradictions and tensions. Firstly, they maintain residence in the fishing community, and secondly, to sustain their middle-class lifestyle, market fishmongers make a living through fish trading that traps them in a life of perceived servitude or 'backwardness'. Their enjoyment then of modernity is achieved at the cost of embedding themselves further in an economic activity and in a place perceived by many to be the very opposite of what modern life stands for.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Publisher: Anthropological Association of the Philippines
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 4 June 2017
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 22:18

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