This article analyzes gender exploitation in Mexican and Central American migrant farm worker camps in the U.S through small group interactions. We describe how gender exploitation and oppression is transmitted through the social fabric of the camp. We argue that the camp produces an endogenous system of social interaction, which maintains uneven gender relationships. Our data is based on observations of twenty-five women and girls in three labor camps in North Carolina. Research was conducted over a period of six weeks. We found that women who served as the primary bearers of patrimonial authority best maintained the camp community. We conclude that women who successfully reproduce the authority structure gain social status in the camps and are more likely to stay.
Journal of Identity and Migration Studies
- Significant Symbols
- Gender Theory