That is to say my newfound freedom to choose and the taste and discrimination I

That is to say my newfound freedom to choose and the

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That is to say, my newfound freedom to choose, and the taste and discrimination I cultivate, have been shaped by traders and marketers responding to a long- term decline in sales with a move toward market seg- mentation along class and generational lines. While I was thinking of myself as me, Kenneth Roman saw me as one of "the Grays." How many readers of this essay have been acting like UJoels"? This is not, of course, to say that we enter the market as mere automatons; clearly, we have and exercise choices, and we (appar- ently) have more things to choose from than we once did. But we exercise those choices in a world of struc- tured relationships, and part of what those relation- ships structure (or shape) is both the arena and the process of choice itself. Another, inescapable part of that world of struc- tured relationships is a set of connections with the This content downloaded from on Mon, 10 Sep 2018 21:25:09 UTC All use subject to
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772 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST * VOL. 98, NO. 4 * DECEMBER 1996 world of production and of producers. My vicarious experience of the world's geography is not just a simu- lacrum; it depends upon a quite real, if mediated and unacknowledged, relationship with the rural toilers without whom my choice could not be exercised. How has the brave new world of choice and flexibility af- fected them? For both Fordist and flexible accumulation re- gimes, the mode of mobilizing labor is critical the importance of a stable core of organized labor and labor relations under Fordism and its virtual opposite under flexible accumulation, which seems to remove labor as much as possible from core to peripheral (temporary, seasonal, occasional, or contracted) labor supplies that can be engaged and disengaged as needed. Some of the innovations that I have discussed in relation to the coffee market have involved such shifts in labor rela- tions (e.g., the move toward containerization in interna- tional shipping, which revolutionized distribution in the United States and allowed importers to bypass the docks and warehouses of coastal cities, cutting the need for labor and the power of the unions of longshore- men and warehousemen). As we turn from the United States to the manifold points of production, we find that the changes can be quite dramatic, though their shape and consequences remain uncertain and can only be suggested here. Throughout the post-World War II period, the coffee trade was regulated by a series of international coffee agreements, the first of which was the Pan American agreement during the war, and the longest lasting of which was the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) administered by the International Coffee Organization (ICO), formed in 1963. Through the agreements, pro- ducing and consuming countries submitted to a series of quotas that could be adjusted and even suspended from year to year as particular countries suffered hur- ricanes, droughts, or frosts or other countries entered the market and signed the agreement but that none-
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