In the US-Mexican industrial border city of Agua Prieta, Sonora, houses are being built with purchased, manufactured materials, many of them from outside the region, rather than with local or self-made materials. This situation provides an opportunity to explore the logic of delocalization and commoditization of material culture. Definitive explanations are not available, but four lines of inquiry are suggested. The tradeoff between time and money changes as people enter the wage economy. Houses become vehicles for investment across time. Access to local resources become constrained while new commercial channels of purchased manufactures are opened. Techniques of construction change as the regional stratification picture shifts in response to external connections.

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