On a cold winter night in 1991, immersed in research for this book, I ac-
companied close to two hundred copper miners as they marched through
the streets of Rancagua, the city below the El Teniente mine, to protest
the recently elected democratic government's plans to expand foreign in-
vestment in new copper enterprises and thus initiate the incremental pri-
vatization of an industry nationalized in 1971 by the socialist government
of Salvador Allende. The mood that night was subdued and markedly dif-
ferent from that of miners in strikes and protests during the four decades
preceding the military coup of 1973, when thousands of workers and their
family members would routinely take to the streets in community-wide
mobilizations. The march was noticeable for the small number of pro-
testers and the absence of women from workers' families, and it reflected
profound changes in the Chilean economy, society, and politics that had
undermined miners' militant traditions of labor activism and strong com-
munity ties since the 1973 military coup of Augusto Pinochet. The unified
working-class community and cohesive mining workforce that had been
created during one stage of the internationalization of capital following
the First World War was now being rent asunder by transformations in
Chile's insertion into the global economy.
In this book I chart the construction of a permanent working-class
community in Chile's export mining sector in response to North Ameri-
can capital's requirements for a trained and stable labor force. I examine
changes in both men's and women's lives provoked by this new stage in
capitalist economic development. As many writers have observed, "glob-
alization" is both shaped by ideologies of gender and structures gender
relations through the international division of labor, the organization of
labor markets, and the ordering of household production. In Chile, North
American capital employed gendered social welfare and labor policies
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