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Walsh, Jane/M (2014) "OUR STRUGGLES ARE NOT THE SAME, BUT THEY CONVERGE": FARMWORKERS, ALLIES, AND THE FAIR FOOD MOVEMENT. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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How do marginalized and privileged groups mobilize together without slipping into an organizing model that is paternalistic and charity driven? My research of the Fair Food Movement examines how the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a farmworker organization in southwest Florida, and its student, faith, and food justice allies come together to mobilize against fast-food, grocery, and food service corporations for a collective right, a food system that ensures dignity, fair wages, and safe working conditions for farmworkers. I used an ethnographic method, interviewing CIW members (many of whom are immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, and Haiti) and their allies (students, people of faith, and food justice advocates from the United States), engaging in 350 hours of fieldwork, and analyzing archival data, to explain the emergence, evolution, and institutionalization of the Fair Food Movement. First, I discover that movement formalization and decentralization are not inherently opposed despite centralized movements often being more formalized than those that are decentralized. Second, while social movement scholars examine the local processes that occur prior to movement scale shift from the local to the national level, my dissertation finds that the local, geographic context remains an important point of analysis even after upward scale shift from the local to the national level occurs. Third, marginalized and privileged groups with varying layers of racial, ethnic, linguistic, and class privilege can work together for improved labor conditions. I find that this collaboration is built on a shared self-interest for desired change. For Immokalee farmworkers, that change is higher wages and improved working conditions. For their allies, that change is corporate reform. My analysis sheds light not only on understudied processes of social movement and labor structures, but also on the ways in which people with privilege participate with marginalized groups as opposed to for these groups or on their behalf.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Walsh, Jane/Mjmw129@pitt.eduJMW129
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMarkoff, Johnjm2@pitt.eduJM2
Committee MemberBlee, Kathykblee@pitt.eduKBLEE
Committee MemberStaggenborg, Suzannesuzstagg@pitt.eduSUZSTAGG
Committee MemberPaulston, Christinapaulston@pitt.eduPAULSTON
Date: 30 May 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 February 2014
Approval Date: 30 May 2014
Submission Date: 14 April 2014
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 303
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Movements, Allies, Farmworkers, CIW, Immokalee
Date Deposited: 30 May 2014 14:41
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 05:15


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