The Politics of Immigrant Workers: Labor Activism and Migration in the World Economy Since 1830

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9780841912977: The Politics of Immigrant Workers: Labor Activism and Migration in the World Economy Since 1830
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The international upheaval set off by workers struggling to return home from Kuwait at the outbreak of the Gulf War as well as the alarming violence that has erupted against foreign workers in Germany are recent examples of the growing political, social, and economic consequences of labor migration. Immigrant workers - such as the Mexican "undocumented worker" in California or the Turkish "guest-worker" in Germany - are as crucial to the world and national economies as they are socially and politically controversial. This provocative book explores the rise of the global working class in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by examining the experiences of a wide range of immigrant workers in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Are immigrants more conservative or radical than native-born workers? Under which circumstances do workers act together and when do they fail to cooperate? How does the status of immigrants as a distinct cultural and political group generate and influence their collective action? Together the essays in this volume probe these issues through their focus on how immigrant workers organize themselves collectively in unions, strikes, and political action. The book's comparative perspective allows for a comprehensive and wide-ranging treatment of this international phenomenon. Thus the essays consider a range of workers - agricultural as well as industrial labor - and examine important streams of migration including Europeans to the United States; Third World workers to Western Europe; migration within Europe; Asian workers in Africa, the Pacific islands, and Southeast Asia; and Mexican migration to the United States.
In this important collection, distinguished historians and social scientists investigate the influence on immigrant workers of forces such as the world economy, the state, and work structure, as well as communal and ethnic factors. Because of its diversity, scope, and depth of analysis, The Politics of Immigrant Workers provides the reader with an understanding of not only the common features of the immigrant workers' experience but also their broader ramifications in modern society.

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