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Title:Racialized Fields: Asians, Mexicans, and the Farm Labor Struggle in California
Author(s):Cruz, Adrian
Director of Research:Jung, Moon-Kie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Jung, Moon-Kie
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Roediger, David R.; Marshall, Anna-Maria; Zerai, Assata
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
farm labor
social movements
Abstract:This dissertation explores the historical struggle of Asian and Mexican origin farm workers in California during the twentieth century. The study investigates how the battle for economic justice, in which farm workers engaged, did not center solely on issues of class. Instead, I utilize the sociological lens of race theories to examine how farm workers confronted historically rooted forms of racism that acted differently against Asian and Mexican workers. Moreover, the dissertation asserts that the complex trajectory of the farm workers movement was shifted and shaped by internal and external forces emanating from landowners, the state, and within the very constituency of the movement. Therefore, I utilize sociological analysis of the historical narrative to analyze how a social movement transitions from failure to dormancy and then success. Last, I provide insight into how and why the movement faded into decline. While historical in its approach, I propose that my theoretical conclusions on racism, inter-minority cooperation and conflict, and social movement dynamics may be extrapolated to sociologically comprehend other historical periods, events, racial groups, and organizations. Furthermore, the study’s focus upon Asian and Mexican origin working people is significant. Both groups have received little attention in regards to interaction with each other. Moreover, they are seldom defined as working class groups in US society, currently and historically.
Issue Date:2010-01-06
Rights Information:Copyright 2009 Adrian Cruz
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-01-06
Date Deposited:December 2

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