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The Drug Company Next DoorPollution, Jobs, and Community Health in Puerto Rico$
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Alexa S. Dietrich

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724996

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724996.001.0001

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The Rituals and Consequences of Community Politics and Dissent

The Rituals and Consequences of Community Politics and Dissent

(p.79) 3 The Rituals and Consequences of Community Politics and Dissent
The Drug Company Next Door

Alexa S. Dietrich

NYU Press

This chapter shows how local politics play a large role in framing social relationships in Nocorá, especially the relationships between the factories and residents. It makes a brief introduction to Puerto Rican electoral politics, tying them into broader observations about economic development and culture. In particular, the instrumental role of the alcaldes of Nocorá can be traced in the founding of the pharmaceutical complex, and the power they wield in the community. Additionally, this chapter explores the question of whether or not the drug companies can be, in anthropological terms, “members” of this small community, as they claim to be, and as local politicians would like them to be seen as. Of particular importance is the centrality of their participation in local rituals and token good deeds, demonstrating how performance and perception drastically influenced Nocoreño beliefs about whether the companies are, on balance, beneficial or harmful.

Keywords:   alcaldes, Nocorá, Puerto Rican electoral politics, pharmaceutical complex, economic development, local culture

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