Gendered Sharecropping: Waged and Unwaged Mexican Immigrant Labor in the California Strawberry Fields


Sanchez, Teresa Figueroa. 2015. “Gendered Sharecropping: Waged and Unwaged Mexican Immigrant Labor in the California Strawberry Fields.” Signs 40 (4): 917–38. 

Author: Teresa Figueroa Sanchez


Mexican immigrants play an important role in the development of the strawberry sharecropping industry in California. Although scholars have studied the political economy of strawberry sharecropping, I examine Mexican immigrant male and female sharecroppers who restructured their households to employ mostly women and underage pickers during the strawberry harvest. Based on ethnographic research and my autoethnography, I argue that sharecroppers developed a complex social system to pay wages, distribute domingos (pocket money), collect stipends, and manage savings—not without some tension along gender lines—within immigrant households. Using a feminist political economy perspective, this article sheds new light on the economic and social reproduction of the immigrant household and the appropriation of women’s undervalued labor in advanced capitalist economies.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Households, Political Economies Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico, United States of America

Year: 2015

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