Labor processes within a commodity system: a comparative study of workers in apple packing houses
Bello Barros, Rosario
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This study is a comparative analysis of how two forms of capitalist production intersect with gender to shape the labor process in apple packing houses of Virginia, United States and the VI Region, Chile. It illustrates how differences in growers' production systems, as well as traditional undervaluation of women's work, shape the organization of the apple-packing workplace. A theoretical framework based on the notion of labor processes was developed to study growers' farming systems and their use and management of labor. Production is conceptualized as a system based upon the relation of labor process and value-creating process. The study focused on two interrelated dimensions: 1) production as difference between exchange and use value and 2) the intersection of gender inequality and capital and its effects on the organization of the workplace and on women's ability to increase control and autonomy. Five apple farms were selected in each of two regions - one in Chile and the other in the United States. From these farms one hundred-twenty workers were chosen to be interviewed by stratified random sampling. In addition, the farm operator of each farm was interviewed.
- Doctoral Dissertations