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The United States has seen a dramatic rise in the number of informal day labor sites in the last two decades. Typically frequented by Latin American men (mostly "undocumented" immigrants), these sites constitute an important source of unskilled manual labor. Despite day laborers’ ubiquitous presence in urban areas, however, their very existence is overlooked in much of the research on immigration. While standing in plain view, these jornaleros live and work in a precarious environment: as they try to make enough money to send home, they are at the mercy of unscrupulous employers, doing dangerous and underpaid work, and, ultimately, experiencing great threats to their identities and social roles as men. Juan Thomas Ordóñez spent two years on an informal labor site in the San Francisco Bay Area, documenting the harsh lives led by some of these men during the worst economic crisis that the United States has seen in decades. He earned a perspective on the immigrant experience based on close relationships with a cohort of men who grappled with constant competition, stress, and loneliness. Both eye-opening and heartbreaking, the book offers a unique perspective on how the informal economy of undocumented labor truly functions in American society.
Immigrants in the United States send more than $20 billion every year back to Mexico—one of the largest flows of such remittances in the world. With The Remittance Landscape, Sarah Lynn Lopez offers the first extended look at what is done with that money, and in particular how the building boom that it has generated has changed Mexican towns and villages. Lopez not only identifies a clear correspondence between the flow of remittances and the recent building boom in rural Mexico but also proposes that this construction boom itself motivates migration and changes social and cultural life for migrants and their families. At the same time, migrants are changing the landscapes of cities in the United States: for example, Chicago and Los Angeles are home to buildings explicitly created as headquarters for Mexican workers from several Mexican states such as Jalisco, Michoacán, and Zacatecas. Through careful ethnographic and architectural analysis, and fieldwork on both sides of the border, Lopez brings migrant hometowns to life and positions them within the larger debates about immigration.
The land is for those who work it—"La tierra es de quien la trabaja." One hundred kilometers from Seville, there is a small village, Marinaleda, that for the last thirty years has been at the center of a long struggle to create a communist utopia. In a story reminiscent of the Asterix books, Dan Hancox explores the reality behind the community where no one has a mortgage, sport is played in the Che Guevara stadium and there are monthly "Red Sundays" where everyone works together to clean up the neighbourhood. In particular he tells the story of the village mayor, Sánchez Gordillo, who in 2012 became a household name in Spain after leading raids on local supermarkets to feed the Andalucian unemployed.
"Demographic and technological trends have yielded new forms of work that are increasingly more precarious, globalized, and brand centered. Some of these shifts have led to a marked decrease in the visibility of work or workers. This edited collection examines situations in which technology and employment practices hide labor within the formal paid labor market, with implications for workplace activism, social policy, and law. In some cases, technological platforms, space, and temporality hide workers and sometimes obscure their tasks as well. In other situations, workers may be highly visible--indeed, the employer may rely upon the workers' aesthetics to market the branded product--but their aesthetic labor is not seen as work. In still other cases, the work occurs within a social interaction and appears as leisure--a voluntary or chosen activity--rather than as work. Alternatively, the workers themselves may be conceptualized as consumers rather than as workers. Crossing the occupational hierarchy and spectrum from high- to low-waged work, from professional to manual labor, and from production to service labor, the authors argue for a broader understanding of labor in the contemporary era. This book adopts an interdisciplinary approach that integrates perspectives from law, sociology, and industrial/labor relations"--Provided by publisher.
Thousands of pregnant women pass through our nation’s jails every year. What happens to them as they gestate their pregnancies in a space of punishment? Using her ethnographic fieldwork and clinical work as an Ob/Gyn in a women’s jail, Carolyn Sufrin explores how, in this time when the public safety net is frayed and incarceration has become a central and racialized strategy for managing the poor, jail has, paradoxically, become a place where women can find care. Focusing on the experiences of pregnant, incarcerated women as well as on the practices of the jail guards and health providers who care for them, Jailcare describes the contradictory ways that care and maternal identity emerge within a punitive space presumed to be devoid of care. Sufrin argues that jail is not simply a disciplinary institution that serves to punish. Rather, when understood in the context of the poverty, addiction, violence, and racial oppression that characterize these women’s lives and their reproduction, jail can become a safety net for women on the margins of society.
This volume explores the establishment of US colonial rule over Puerto Rico through the appropriation and usurpation of the status of local physicians, the undermining of their political legitimacy, and its role in the development of capitalism in the colony.
"They Leave Their Kidneys in the Fields takes the reader on an ethnographic tour of the melon and corn harvesting fields in California's Central Valley to understand why farmworkers die at work each summer. Laden with captivating detail of farmworkers' daily work and home lives, Horton examines how U.S. immigration policy and the historic exclusion of farmworkers from the promises of liberalism has made migrant farmworkers what she calls 'exceptional workers.' She explores the deeply intertwined political, legal, and social factors that place Latino migrants at particular risk of illness and injury in the fields, as well as the patchwork of health care, disability, and Social Security policies that provide them little succor when they become sick or grow old. The book takes an in-depth look at the work risks faced by migrants at all stages of life: as teens, in their middle-age, and ultimately as elderly workers. By following the lives of a core group of farmworkers over nearly a decade, Horton provides a searing portrait of how their precarious immigration and work statuses culminate in preventable morbidity and premature death"--Provided by publisher.

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