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ERIC Number: EJ760971
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
The Homies in Silicon Valley: Figuring Styles of Life and Work in the Information Age
Marez, Curtis
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v31 n2 p139-148 Fall 2006
The dot-com crash of 2000-01 provides unique opportunities for historicizing what Manuel Castells calls the information age. This age is characterized by the dominance of information capital, a regime of accumulation organized around networks of computers and other information technologies whose production is partly centered in Northern California's Silicon Valley. However, the information age reproduced historic contradictions between capital and labor. How has Chicana/o popular culture responded to the contradictions of the information age? Although the author addresses such question from a series of perspectives in a longer work, in this article the author focuses on the Homies, a popular line of small plastic figurines representing the largely Chicana/o inhabitants of an imaginary barrio in East Los Angeles. These finely detailed and painted figures of various barrio "types," with names like "Smiley," "Shy Girl," and "Spooky," are widely sold in gumball machines, at swapmeets, and on eBay. The author argues that the production and reception of the Homies foregrounds many of the contradictions between workers and corporations in the new economy. He also argues that the Homies condense the historical contradictions between capital and labor that are displaced by dominant accounts that tend to abstract Silicon Valley from its relationship to regional labor arrangements.
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California