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New Mexico State University

Research and Outreach

Dr. Julie Steinkopf Rice is one of five awardees of the 2011 Rising Star Award, awarded by NMSU's Vice President for Research. The title of her research proposal is "Community-Based Economic Development: Farmer's Market Consumers as Agents of Collectively-Oriented Economic Change."

Dr. Jim Rice has a new article published!

Rice, James. 2011. "The Global Reorganization and Revitalization of the Asbestos Industry, 1970-2007." International Journal of Health Services, 41(2): 239-254.


The intent of the present essay is to highlight the global reorganization of the asbestos industry over the period 1970 to 2007. Descriptive analysis illustrates asbestos consumption in the industrialized countries has declined precipitously over the period in juxtaposition to the notable increase in consumption in the developing countries. In 2007 asbestos consumption in the developing countries was over two million metric tons but negligible elsewhere in the world economy. We argue that as asbestos became increasingly the focus of government oversight in the industrialized countries continued capital accumulation efforts necessitated the displacement of risk to the developing countries. The global revitalization of asbestos production and consumption over the period 1970 to 2007 presents numerous challenges in terms of occupational and environmental health hazards in the developing countries. It has the potential, moreover, to prefigure a significant expansion of asbestos-related disease into the 21st century absent a global ban on asbestos use.   

Dr. Julie Steinkopf Rice and two graduate students, Emily Cummins (Sociology) and April Willeford (Government) have recently had an article accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of Critical Sociology. The article is titled  "Crossing Borders: Building Radical Economic Subjectivities Along the U.S. / Mexico Border from Sites of Privilege."


The primary focus of literature related to economic alternatives to free market capitalism continues to address structural aspects while the subjectivity processes involved in creating what we refer to as a radical economic subject remain scant at best. We address this lacuna by examining the processes involved in creating a radical economic subject. We use qualitative techniques including semi-structured interviews and participant observation to examine advocates who work to provide economic alternatives to economically dislocated communities along the U.S. / Mexico border. Theoretically we use a poststructural feminist perspective to illuminate the contradictions and complexities involved in how these advocates negotiate and often work against their interests arising from class, race, and geopolitical privileges. Contributions of this study include demonstrating the utility a poststructural feminist approach as to global political economic issues that extend beyond a focus upon gender. This theoretical approach provides insights into the complex relations radical economic subjects have to the state; the importance of critical reflection in building solidarity across different social locations; and the complexities related to language barriers and representing the subaltern.

Dr. Jim Rice has a new co-authored study out:

Jorgenson, Andrew K. and James Rice. 2010. "Urban Slum Growth and Human Health: A Panel Study of Infant and Child Mortality in Less-Developed Countries, 1990-2005." Journal of Poverty 14(4): 382-402.

Drawing from various bodies of social scientific literature and research, the authors assess the extent to which infant and child mortality rates in less-developed countries are impacted by the percent of domestic populations living in urban slum conditions. Results of first-difference panel model estimates of eighty less-developed countries from 1990 - 2005 indicate that growth in the percent of populations living in urban slum conditions positively affects both forms of mortality and the effects are much more pronounced for African countries than for less-developed countries in Latin American and Asia. These findings hold, net of economic development, fertility rates, world-economic integration, and other factors. Cross-sectional analyses of infant and child mortality rates in 2005 that include additional controls provide further evidence of the mortality / urban slum relationships found in the panel model estimates. The authors conclude by highlighting the theoretical implications of the results and describe the next steps in this research agenda.