Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

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Over 800,000 Latina/o agricultural workers are employed in California every year, of whom approximately 400,000 are estimated to be undocumented immigrants. We convened 19 focus groups (FG) between July 2019 and January 2020 in various regions of California to gather information from Latina/o agricultural workers on social stressors. The participants’ narratives focused extensively on working conditions. This paper analyses these narratives and examines working and living conditions, as well as the combined effect of profound deprivations within most significant social domains. Agricultural workers in California characterise their working conditions as little better than slave labour. Systematic abusive practices and exploitation, discrimination, marginalisation, and lack of opportunities were overwhelmingly present in their narratives. Sleep, family, education, economic and health deprivation, as well as housing, food and work insecurity, social discrimination, and institutional racism compound one another to generate a systematic form of oppression that makes social mobility virtually impossible. Efforts to expand and protect labour rights have been inadequate and major improvements are needed to provide basic civil rights.


© 2023 The Authors.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

The International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food





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