The myth of the protected worker: Southeast Asian micro-farmers in California agriculture


Christy Getz, Jennifer Sowerwine, Nancy Peluso


agriculture, California, discrimination, family farm, Hmong, immigtrant, labor, Mien, race, small family farms


Agric Hum Values

Year Published:


Policy Summary

Using case examples of Southeast Asian and in particular, Hmong and Mien refugee farmers, this study illustrates the legal conundrums faced by racially, linguistically, and economically vulnerable small farmers in CA at a disproportionate rate to large, industrial growers. It further highlights how CA law discriminates against the practice of traditional reciprocity and family arrangements, and may unfairly target and push Southeast Asian farmers out of agriculture. Furthermore, it discusses how other ‘‘small family farms’’ reliant on volunteerism or labor-sharing may face similar issues.

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