By Robert J. Thomas
Why do farm employees earn much less and feature a decrease prestige than blue-collar staff in related jobs? Robert J. Thomas solutions this query via a multi-method learn of agricultural paintings and exertions markets. Fieldwork as a lettuce harvester presents invaluable insights from the point of view of undocumented immigrants. this can be a compelling research of the way the vulnerability of non-citizens and girls staff augments managerial keep watch over.
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Extra info for Citizenship, Gender and Work: Social Organization of Industrial Agriculture
The average production unit has more than doubled in size since the 1920s (Census of Agriculture, 1954, 1978). The value of investments in machinery, including harvesting equipment, in the fruit and vegetable industries has increased by more than 250 percent since 1940 (Census of Agriculture, 1954, 1978). A secular decline in the number of unincorporated enterprises has been charted since the early 1960s (Census of Agriculture, 1954–1978; Villarejo, 1980) and the well-publicized incursion of nonagricultural corporations into agribusiness has significantly changed the capital and product markets of a number of major commodity groups (see Villarejo, 1980; Fellmeth, 1973; Friedland and Barton, 1975; Zwerdling, 1980).
The importance of political intervention in the labor market extends into control over the production process as well. However, the point to be made here is precisely that the "perfect" or near perfect competition commonly attributed to harvest labor markets in California is itself the product of a rather severe structuring of the labor market. That is, the situation in which a model of perfect labor market competition appears is not one characterized by political equality between labor and capital, but one characterized by the most severe inequality.
The first, prevalent among tenant farms and small family operations, engaged the family itself as a means by which to organize and extract labor. That is, within the context of a heavy emphasis on seasonal cash-farming, family members could be trained in the totality of production skills and maintained to be available despite the periodic application of those skills. Equally important, if one leaves aside the issue of inheritance as a form of return on labor investment, the labor of children could be remunerated at less than its market value.
Citizenship, Gender and Work: Social Organization of Industrial Agriculture by Robert J. Thomas