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An unusual synthesis of history and sociological theory

Farm Workers, Agribusiness, and the State

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Linda C. Majka and Theo J. Majka

"I believe this to be the best book yet published on U.S. farmworker struggles and organization."
Political Science Quarterly

Most works of immigrant or labor history focus on a single group or period. This book, however, authoritatively discusses the position of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Mexican, and native-born workers in the farm labor market in California from the 1870s to the present.

The authors document farm worker organizing and strikes from World War I to the United Farm Workers' campaigns in which they participated as community organizers. They explain the changing relationships between agricultural and industrial unions from the Wobblies to the Teamsters.

An unusual synthesis of history and sociological theory, this book thoroughly develops the theme of state action or effective inaction. "State action" has ranged from the nineteenth-century Oriental exclusion acts to the selective enforcement of Mexican border policies to the tenfold increase in shipments of boycotted table grapes to Vietnam when Nixon was supporting the growers.

The chapters on the UFW constitute an impressive analysis of a social movement and a definitive account of a complex case of how labor policy is made. The Majkas used interviews with growers, farm workers, officials of Governor Brown's administration, and members of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board to supplement their personal observations.

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About the Author(s)

Linda C. Majka teaches Sociology at the University of Dayton.

Theo J. Majka teaches Sociology at the University of Dayton.

Subject Categories

Labor Studies and Work

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