Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona
Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona centers on the production of an elastic supply of labor, revealing how this long-standing approach to the building of Arizona has obscured important power relations, including the state’s favorable treatment of corporations vis-à-vis workers. Building on recent scholarship about Chicanas/os and others, the volume insightfully describes how U.S. industries such as railroads, mining, and agriculture have fostered the recruitment of Mexican labor, thus ensuring the presence of a surplus labor pool that expands and contracts to accommodate production and profit goals.
The volume’s contributors delve into examples of migration and settlement in the Salt River Valley; the mobilization and immobilization of cotton workers in the 1920s; miners and their challenge to a dual-wage system in Miami, Arizona; Mexican American women workers in midcentury Phoenix; the 1980s Morenci copper miners’ strike and Chicana mobilization; Arizona’s industrial and agribusiness demands for Mexican contract labor; and the labor rights violations of construction workers today.
Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona fills an important gap in our understanding of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the Southwest by turning the scholarly gaze to Arizona, which has had a long-standing impact on national policy and politics.
“Framed by an important set of critiques, Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona brings forward precisely what has not been incorporated into the state’s (or the nation’s) historical analyses of the role of Mexican labor in the construction of a major economy.”—Gilbert G. González, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Irvine
“This excellent book recognizes the workers’ critical role, dignity, and struggles for a better life.”—Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval, author of Starving for Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity