Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona

Mexican Workers and the Making of Arizona

Hardcover(3rd ed.)

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On any given day in Arizona, thousands of Mexican-descent workers labor to make living in urban and rural areas possible. The majority of such workers are largely invisible. Their work as caretakers of children and the elderly, dishwashers or cooks in restaurants, and hotel housekeeping staff, among other roles, remains in the shadows of an economy dependent on their labor.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816531868
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Edition description: 3rd ed.
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Luis F. B. Plascencia is the author of Disenchanting Citizenship: Mexican Migrants and the Boundaries of Belonging.

Gloria H. Cuádraz is a co-editor of Claiming Home, Shaping Community: Testimonios de los valles and a member of the Latina Feminist Group, co-authors of Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Contextualizing Mexican Labor and Arizona's National Importance 3

Introduction: Arizona's Six Cs and Mexicana/o Labor 23

1 Lost Land and México Lindo: Origins of Mexicans in Arizona's Salt River Valley, 1865-1910 Jaime R. Águila F. Arturo Rosales 61

2 The Mobilization and Immobilization of "Legally Imported Aliens": Cotton in the Salt River Valley, 1917-1921 Gloria H. Cuádraz 90

3 "Get Us Our Privilege of Bringing in Mexican Labor": Recruitment and Desire for Mexican Labor in Arizona, 1917-2017 Luis F. B. Plascencia 124

Photo Essay 179

4 Mexicano Miners, Dual Wage, and the Pursuit of Wage Equality in Miami, Arizona Christine Marin Luis F. B. Plascencia 203

5 Mexican American Women Workers in Mid-Twentieth-Century Phoenix Jean Reynolds 227

6 The Morenci Miners Women's Auxiliary during the Great Arizona Copper Strike, 1983-1986 Anna Ochoa O'Leary 248

7 Constructing Arizona: The Lives and Labor of Mexicans in the Valley of the Sun Cristina Gallardo-Sanidad 270

Epilogue 301

Acknowledgments 311

References 315

Contributors 375

Index 379


Scholars of Mexican American studies, labor studies, Southwest studies, Arizona history, women’s studies, and social justice studies.

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