Poverty, Inequality and Global Distributive Justice

Authored by: Luis Cabrera

The Ashgate Research Companion to Ethics and International Relations

Print publication date:  September  2009
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754671015
eBook ISBN: 9781315612935
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043546


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Trying to be helpful, the delegation of immigrant-rights activists from the US, who were being hosted by a local family in an area of intense outmigration in southeastern Mexico, shucked dried corn to be made into the family’s staple tortillas. Grasping the cobs, they wrenched, pried and scraped with thumbnails to remove hard yellow kernels, depositing them in a bucket on the table in front of them, and occasionally by accident on the bare concrete floor of the family’s living room. When they had nearly finished, another member of the delegation swept the stray kernels and accumulated dirt and detritus of the day into a small pile on the floor. As she went in search of a dustpan, a female member of the Mexican household entered the room and, spotting the pile, shook her head slightly. She bent and began to pick each kernel out. Then she scouted the room for kernels still hidden in corners or under furniture. Eventually, she added a small additional handful to the bucket (Author field observation, March 2007).

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