Hi all, I mentioned I was going to post these in class on Monday, but then sorry, things have been really hectic and I didn’t get the chance to post them until today. The articles I was referring to are here and here.
And I brought it up in class already that what reminded me of this in our readings were a few parts in the Wanning Sun article. First on p.277 is the discussion of the “stratified politics of consumer desire”; of who gets to yearn and whose longings are legitimate. A lot of the attempts to police spending of people who are on welfare so they don’t “waste their money” on things they are defined as not needed seems to spring from that place. The later comment on p.284, that “the refashioning of the migrant body is more beneficial to employers than to the migrants themselves” also kind of made me think of some similarities, although as we discussed in class, these situations have significant differences. I think in the Sun article when it articulates that these employers might view their preference for “country bumpkins” as “doing their part” to advance a modernizing nation-building project, and that is part of why it’s more beneficial to themselves to exert their parental authority in that way, there seem to be some differences/similarities. This discussion of this potential law in Minnesota has some of the same air of parental authority in directing behavior, but not as much about advancing modernizing project. Also, there is more there perhaps under the surface about specifically promoting certain businesses maybe owned by congressmen, that people are welfare are restricted to through the debit card.
As an important difference, of course, the Sun piece concentrates on the feminization of labor migration, a central point in a lot of these pieces, which is something that is not directly present in this Minnesota situation (neither migration, nor specific feminization of labor, though in the larger situation of this story there may be a feminization of people on welfare? I’m not sure, myself).