A highly readable national overview of migrant labor patterns
Farmworkers in the United States
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David Griffith and Ed Kissam with Jeromino Camposeco, Anna García, Max Pfeffer, David Runsten, and Manuel Valdes Pizzini
Working Poor investigates the lives and working conditions of migrant farmworkers in seven regions of the United States. The community studies in this volume include descriptions and analyses of the low-income neighborhoods of Immokalee, Florida; Parlier, California; Weslaco, Texas; and Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, where growers and farm contractors put immigrants to work in fruit and vegetable harvests. The authors link farmworker communities that have winter growing seasons with summer labor supply demand regions in the northern United States, in particular south-western Michigan, New Jersey, and the Delmarva Peninsula of Maryland and Delaware.
The authors investigate ethnic succession in the farm labor market and the ways individual farmworkers, farmworker families, and networks organize these migrations and attach themselves to farming operations by a variety of social relations. Framing the portraits of crowded households, the histories of networks, and the ethnic vignettes are three chapters placing the community studies into historical and theoretical perspectives. This broad framework underscores the importance of housing, transportation, networks, labor contracts, and ethnic relations in the organization of low-wage labor markets.
Read a review from Monthly Labor Review, May 1996, written by Michael Wald.
List of Tables
Part I: Introduction
Part II: The Community Studies
Part III: The Community Studies in Theoretical Perspective
Appendix: Methods, Sampling, and the Rationale for the Community Study Approach
David Griffith is Associate Scientist, Department of Anthropology at the Institute for Coastal and Marine Resources, East Carolina University.
Edward Kissam is Senior Research Associate at Pacific Management Research Associates.