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Cultivating Science, Harvesting PowerScience and Industrial Agriculture in California$
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Christopher R. Henke

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262083737

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262083737.001.0001

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A Repair Crisis: Farm Labor during World War II and Beyond

A Repair Crisis: Farm Labor during World War II and Beyond

(p.67) 4 A Repair Crisis: Farm Labor during World War II and Beyond
Cultivating Science, Harvesting Power

Christopher R. Henke

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on the farm labor strikes during the 1930s and 1970s that led to a struggle between the growers, farmworkers, and their sympathizers and scientists, along with state-based resources to maintain or transform the social and material order of California’s agriculture. Dependence of the niche market farm industries on the often-seasonal migrant workers has proven to be a problem for the growers as they have not been able to maintain control over the labor during the challenging times for them. The chapter presents the point of view of growers, laborers, and the state of California regarding farm labor, which can be problematic for California agriculture. It also presents the perspective of the critics who defined the labor problem as a social conflict and suggestions such as including improving the working conditions of farm laborers and dividing the farms into smaller units.

Keywords:   growers, farmworkers, migrant workers, working conditions, labor strikes, farm industries

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