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Insurgency of the Powerless: Farm Worker Movements (1946-1972

Author(s): J. Craig Jenkins and Charles Perrow
Source: American Sociological Review, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Apr., 1977), pp. 249-268
Published by: American Sociological Association
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Center for Policy Research Center for Policy Research
and and

University of Missouri, Columbia State University of New York, Stony Brook

American Sociological Review 1977, Vol. 42 (April):249-268

Drawing on the perspective developed in recent work by Oberschall (1973), Tilly (1975) and
Gamson (1975), we analyze the political process centered around farm worker insurgencies.
Comparing the experience of two challenges, we argue that the factors favored in the classical
social movement literature fail to account for either the rise or outcome of insurgency. Instead,
the important variables pertain to social resources-in our case, sponsorship by established
organizations. Farm workers themselves are powerless; as an excluded group, their demands
tend to be systematically ignored. But powerlessness may be overridden if the national political
elite is neutralized and members of the polity contribute resources and attack insurgent targets.
To test the argument, entries in the New York Times Annual Index are content coded and
statistically analyzed, demonstrating how the political environment surrounding insurgent
efforts alternatively contains them or makes them successful.

From about 1964 until 1972, American Our thesis is that the rise and dramatic
society witnessed an unprecedented success of farm worker insurgents in the
number of groups acting in insurgent fash- late 1960s best can be explained by
ion. By insurgency we mean organized changes in the political environment the
attempts to bring about structural change movement confronted, rather than by the
by thrusting new interests into decision- internal characteristics of the movement
making processes. Some of this in- organization and the social base upon
surgency, notably the civil rights and which it drew. The salient environment
peace movements, had begun somewhat consisted of the government, especially
earlier, but after 1963 there were or- the federal government, and a coalition of
ganized attempts to bring about structural liberal support organizations. We shall
changes from virtually all sides: ethnic contrast the unsuccessful attempt to or-
minorities (Indians, Mexican-Americans, ganize farm workers by the National Farm
Puerto Ricans), welfare mothers, women, Labor Union from 1946 to 1952 with the
sexual liberation groups, teachers and strikingly successful one of the United
even some blue-collar workers. The pres- Farm Workers from 1965 to 1972.
ent study isolates and analyzes in detail The immediate goals of both
one of these insurgent challenges-that of movements were the same-to secure
farm workers-in an effort to throw light union contracts. They both used the same
on the dynamics that made the 1960s a tactics, namely, mass agricultural strikes,
period of dramatic and stormy politics. boycotts aided by organized labor, and
political demands supported by the liberal
community of the day. Both groups en-
* This is part of a larger study of insurgency in the
countered identical and virtually insur-
1960s directed by Charles Perrow, Center for Policy
Research, Inc., New York, and funded by NIMH,
mountable obstacles, namely, a weak bar-
Grant No. 5 ROI MH20006-04 SSR. Field investiga- gaining position, farm worker poverty and
tions by Jenkins were conducted with the aid of a a culture of resignation, high rates of mi-
National Science Foundation Dissertation Grant grancy and weak social cohesion, and a
(Proposal/Grant No. 1 SOC 75-08476). We owe
perpetual oversupply of farm labor, insur-
thanks to anonymous ASR readers for their com-
ments on an earlier version and colleagues too ing that growers could break any strike.
numerous to mention. The difference between the two chal-

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A priori. sub- tive deprivation theorists. Fluctuations in the level of first challenge.109 on Fri. Lang and Lang (1961). Snyder ribusiness privileges in public policy. government policies discontent account for the rise of strongly favored agribusiness. it is this. formed a reform coalition. when the Delano grape Index between 1946 and 1972. First. importance of resources is obvious. When dis. Social movements arise because of As for the outcome of challenges.g. whether or not one adopts a content will occur. To demonstrate tions currently available. In this study. then. 1973. it seems more The Classical Model plausible to assume that farm worker dis- In taking this position. 1973:73-9). has cast doubt time the second challenge was mounted. either the emergence of insurgent organi- the classical literature holds in common zation or the level of participation by the the following line of argument. The outcome of the challenge. Once wide variety of collective disruptions. giving rise to Turner and Killian (1957. labor was weak and vacillating.129. we do not propose to test then. were in support organization and each of the various "discontent" formula- governmental actions. We do not deny the existence of discon- tion of insurgent organizations and the tent but we question the usefulness of dis- outcome of insurgent challenges. The key changes. Tilly et al. liberals and organized labor had interests (Oberschall. there is a social change which makes pre. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. anomic masses.58. This content downloaded from 142. Nor underway. the deep and widespread discontent. The resources old. pro. Wilson. the political environment had changed Disorders do not arise from disorganized dramatically. there has ducing a strain between the new and the been an implicit position. attacking ag. a product of that the standard literature on social established economic relations rather than movements fails to deal adequately with some social dislocation or dysfunction. Though the classical literature has rarely vailing social relations inappropriate. What increases.. collective efforts to alleviate dis. Government now was di. See also social base. 1969) and Gurr grieved groups.' movement targets. providing additional without falling into post hoc interpreta- resources and applying leverage to tions (cf. than throughout much of the 1950s when there was no movement or strike activity. Indeed. in our view would be s jective gaps between expectations and ondary to the main process-changes in social re- satisfactions versus emotional anxiety in. we will analyze macro-level changes rather hard to believe that farm workers' in the activities of these groups as re. either of two central issues-the forma. 1972). Davies (1962. Strain then generates discontent mobilized by movement organizations are within some social grouping. e. shared. making it possible to (1970). discontent was. Though there is dis- agreement about how to formulate the link I Shifts in perceptions. though. As for relative deprivation.jstor. the coalition continued to fend is it clear that we can use the concept for the insurgents. the central thrust is surgent demands received. sources. Drawing content formulations in accounting for on Gusfield's (1968) summary statement. Smelser insurgency. support movements and major changes in move- from liberal organizations and organized ment participation. Kornhauser sources available to unorganized but ag- (1959). suddenly ported in the New York Times Annual greater in 1965. we are arguing content is relatively constant. 1975). dealt with the issue directly. The and Tilly (1972) and Hibbs (1973) have reform coalition then furnished the re. on the classic "discontent" . for example. duced by anomie.. is the amount of social re- (1962). strike began. but from groups organiza- vided over policies pertaining to farm tionally able to defend and advance their workers. 250 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW lenges was the societal response that in. By the Recent research. assumed to derive from the aggrieved so- content increases rapidly and is widely cial base. treated as central by re between strain and discontent. launch an organized demand for change. failed to find it useful in accounting for a sources to launch the challenge. During the consistent.

109 on Fri. we content is ever-present for deprived need to contest a second thesis frequently groups. base. The major impediment to farm worker tion of public officials. Smelser. in part.2 Challenges frequently fail because of the As Gamson (1968. As- suming that all groups have ready access to the re- applicant to work in the fields. In contrast." and Texas are close enough to the I As the central tenet of pluralist theory. 1975). Kornhauser.. Structural Powerlessness of Farm dence shows that farm worker challenges Workers have failed. dependent upon broadly distributed-shared by all size- external groups for critical organizational able social groupings. A pluralistic polity is interjection of external resources. (2) cially effective ones. lective attempts to bring about change.g. unionization has been the oversupply of farm labor. tant variables separating movement suc- ganized. it is Taylor. but recommendations to elites for channeling "value- oriented" movements into "norm-oriented" ones complicates mobilization by insuring the both build on the assumption of a flexible political existence of cultural cleavages among system based on a pluralistic social . least some part of their program through bargaining and compromise. Dahl (1967:250) argues: insure a steady influx of workers. (3) When de- in a pluralistic fashion (cf." readily incorporating new side support and disunity and/or tolerance groups and their interests into the on the part of political elites. from the outset. presumably they bers sufficient to wring concessions from lacked competent leaders. Once or. The result sources needed to mobilize.129.58. on their own? We The resources required to mount collec- think not. London and Anderson. one or more voluntary associations im. The fields of California mediately springs up to try to secure the change. Nor.3 Yet our evi. undercutting all attempted harvest strikes. Both of the movements studied tive action and carry it through are were. ful challenge depended upon the interven- velopment. because of the opposi. system is pluralistic and. re- tural strikes amply attests (McWilliams. ers (Fisher. (4) If insurgents succeed.g. Continuous immigration not only "potential groups" and Smelser's (1963:364-79) underwrites the oversupply of labor. prived groups do mobilize. the lack of resources. 1975) has put it. grievances. sponsive to all organized groups with 1939. many of "even minorities are provided with opportunities to whom arrive by illegal routes (Frisbee. espe. e. veto solutions". are deprived groups like farm structural dislocations. leadership and the neutrality of political elites. therefore. should depend primarily upon tion of established liberal organizations internal considerations. For a successful outcome. traced to However. if they do not. This content downloaded from 142. offer- "As soon as a felt need for some social change ing little job stability and open to all com- arises. viable option because of lack of resources sertion that the American polity operates and the threat of repression. as the history of agricul. changes and communication dynamics We can then summarize the classical among the membership. Truman's (1951) speculations about 1975). groups redressing widely-shared cess from failure. pertain to the way grievances should be able to secure at the polity responds to insurgent demands. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about.jstor. There are few barriers of 2 Note also the central role played in pluralistic habit or skill that restrict the entry of any interpretations by the "discontent" hypothesis. INSURGENCY OF THE POWERLESS 251 "natural history" model of movement de. 1953).. it is due to the 1959. were unwilling employers. or behaved irrationally movements by the "powerless" require (e. the poverty-stricken provinces of Mexico to "permeability" argument can be found in almost any presentation of the view. model as follows. strong and sustained outside support. have farm worker due to efforts on the part of the social movements proven able to mobilize num. but (2) collective action is rarely a found in the classical literature-the as. we will argue that (1) dis- If this line of argument is correct. accounts for col- workers able to sustain challenges. workers. 1970. The impor- decision-making process. then. used violence or broke laws). (4) structurally open to demands for change. and that a success. Rose (1967:249) argued: is an "unstructured" labor market. 1962). (3) The political resources. to compromise. Success comes when political system should be structurally there is a combination of sustained out- "permeable. (1) Discontent.

1967). did not depend upon first securing a union taking. Where the benefits were extended. As we shall see. Insurgent ac. short-term workers crossing the picket position of the farm labor force. of a professionally- mon. three months of the year (Fuller. promising wage of Employment and the U. the UFW was an Alinsky- interest. During the early 1960s.129. it Between 1946 and 1965 farm wage rates experienced no more success in strike ef- rose slightly and a few public welfare forts than did the NFLU. both domestic less pronounced.jstor. The California Department tional "business" union. 1942. Though never returning to the scale dependent variable. than social solidarity and community ment services that furnish workers for benefits. Since a major portion of the year's contract. short-term workers. cumstances were slightly more conducive As for the question of challenge out- to the mobilization efforts of the UFW. from the interjection. Mexican-descent. velop stable community ties than their ployment in California averaged less than "Okie" predecessors. at least within NFLU had to contend with the semi- California. like ences in either the structural position of picket lines and mass rallies. Also. More significant. placid situation. the United Farm Workers pur- This means that a majority of workers are sued a mobilization strategy better de- interested primarily in the "quick dollar. workers are reluctant to risk their the immediate gains that might derive livelihood on a strike at that time. workers). farm workers official use of braceros as strikebreakers. pressed in any organized way until outside lenges. there were the very steps in a similar direction. Chambers. creased numbers of illegal aliens and though. S. From access to jobs would conflict with that its inception.109 on Fri. come. organizers arrived on the scene. 1952). there are reasons to be. lieve that a significant number of workers most of whom only recently had migrated have only a limited economic interest in across the border. are short-term seasonal work. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. the of the "local fascism" of the 1930s impetus for both of the challenges came (McWilliams.58. But the critical issue is whether differ- tions that directly threaten growers. its program direct restraints of the growers and their remained primarily that of the conven- political . trained cadre backed by outside sponsors. The linguistic-cultural cleavages somewhat majority of farm workers. Presumably. by the mid-1960s the California What separated the UFW success from farm labor force was predominantly the NFLU failure was the societal re- This content downloaded from 142." signed than that of the NFLU to sustain Imposition of union restrictions on easy the participation of farm workers. farm em. Members developed an attach- income comes during the brief harvest ment to the organization independent of period. income is so low as to gram of services and social activities that leave little economic reserve for risk. despite the UFW's advantages. were slightly more secure economically the UFW had to deal with vastly in- by the mid. strike-bound employers. consistently farm workers or the mobilization strategy have been the target of official harass.1960s. Not only were the gains promised by unionization. The combination of structural con- the late 1940s farm workers in California straints and direct controls insured that were either "dustbowlers" or Mexican neither union was able to mobilize a suffi- braceros (government-imported contract ciently massive social base to be effective.252 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Furthermore. During lines. from any strike. The pri- workers. Though the National In addition to these structural restraints Farm Labor Union had taken limited on collective action. into an otherwise grower vigilante actions are not uncom. grants were more likely to settle and de- ers. there is reason to believe that cir. adopted by the movements affected either ment. but these new immi- and alien. regardless of job commitment or mary advantage was that it offered a pro- citizenship status. were changes in the social com. And for the vast majority of farm styled community organization. Department gains and better working conditions rather of Labor have long operated farm place. Bringing these considerations to bear Farm worker discontent remained unex- on the comparison of farm worker chal.

we have concluded that the that dealt with farm labor issues printed inNew York Times is basically a more com- the New York Times over a twenty. we have turned to newspaper stories on farm labor carried by these sources to provide a picture of the societal three papers for one month (selected at response to the two challengers. This way we have a systema. After comparing the second. California. use it to test hypotheses on the ceived weak and vacillating sponsorship. the New York Times from organized labor and liberal organiza. 1958). By contrast. as Danzger's (1975) junctions and police harassment. 1968) did the New York As with any data source. of police repression in mained.New York Times missed no events cov- eses bearing on movement-environment ered in the other papers. and the Los Angeles Times for a more ticipants and informed observers. tematic. will not provide us with day-to-day cover- tions. the peak of activity for the three periods tent coding the abstracts of news stories of analysis).4 period (October. internal dynamics of mobilization. environmental thesis holds up. Only in the third interaction. For the first. For the UFW's backing was strong and sus. two of which groups during the course of the respective the Los Angeles Times covered and none challenges. Nor.129. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. one bearing on in challenge outcome. We cannot. this." In the seven-year period (1946-1972). there are Times miss an event. the ers. Since it is a na- "causes. 1951). reliable index of the publicly visible political activities that formed the environment of each challenge.109 on Fri. missed by the New York Times. again the tic data base against which to test hypoth. the work has recently indicated. the Chicago filled in and corroborated by extensive Tribune for a more conservative picture interviews conducted with movement par. The success of a "powerless" and machinations that might underlie pub- challenge depended upon sustained and lic positions and alliances. the New York tion prevailing between these various Times carried nine events." receiving widespread support tional newspaper.5 surgency and the other dealing with the To see if the New York Times is a reli- political environment shaping challenge able source. analysis. whether ered seventeen events. For the proximate source. all items 4For a copy of the coding schedule used.second period (April. By com- Method paring statistics drawn from this data base To test this argument we need two and relating these measures to differences bodies of information. example. two other newspapers. finally. for 5 Inter-coder reliability was set at 90%. we have drawn on coverage given by the Times with that of published accounts of the movements. we can month selected from the first period determine the types of groups concerned (March. Nor can we count on same systematic repression confronted by the Times to reveal the hidden bargains the NFLU. no events in the "test" papers were types of activities in which they were en. the UFW did not deal with the Delano. though official harassment re.58. of which the Tribune covered. The NFLU re.jstor. Under the pressure of court in. age. can we view NFLU boycott collapsed when organized the Times reportage as a complete picture labor refused to cooperate. the New York Times cov- with the question of farm labor. of all insurgent activity and environmental the UFW boycotts became national responses to insurgency. This content downloaded from 142. contact failing to meet this standard were excluded from the the first author. for example. we have gone to interviews and pub- tained. In the gaged and. only one of which their actions favored the structural was picked up by each of the other pap- changes advocated by insurgents. INSURGENCY OF THE POWERLESS 253 sponse to the challenges. widespread outside support coupled with We do not ask it to do so. plete version of the same "news. we have compared the outcomes. lished sources. one involving a local limits to the Times data. the pattern of interac. By con. What we are the neutrality and/or tolerance from the using the Times for is to construct a sys- national political elite. we can see if our events leading to the initiation of .

The operative. but never posed a of three time periods. (2) federal. ers. e. Both insurgencies cen. The selec- Times. probably measures of "concrete" activities than because fewer of their activities are likely those for "symbolic" ones. referred to collectively as the grow- Extending that distinction to our own data ers. changes took place in the political system tional wire service offices produces un.g. Of eight events covered by the tion of 1955 as the end point of the period New York Times. securing the services Basic Variables 6 The Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee Our analysis centers on the comparison (AFL-CIO) was chartered in 1959. In the absence of a major "push" important to note that we code events. Danzger (1975) has argued that paper. tions. the UFW boycott efforts. the third period. From the New York Times Annual In- tered in the same locale.109 on Fri. The first. there is the question of whether began institutionalizing changes in the po- news reportage. after two years of nation-wide challenge. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. (4) data dealing with violence appear quite organized labor. grape growers to the bargaining table and Finally. if you want newspaper reportage on 1965-1972.) news coverage is affected by editorial pol. spans the challenge of the National 1970: 46-78). The prominence given to labor received a different treatment in the stories by the editors of the New York hands of established liberal organizations Times is irrelevant. the National Farm Worker Association was an independent community organization Farm Labor Union. sum. as are the evaluations and government officials. that set the stage for a successful chal- even reportage of relevent events. Assuming that dex. news-based conflict action and "public interest" groups). ley of California that ended with the abor- This was reported in the Los Angeles tive Los Baflos strike of 1952. the New York Times is cessful challenge of the United Farm a more thorough source and reveals no Workers. time-series data should be less groups are: (1) the farm worker associa- vulnerable to error than cross-sectional tions and unions that represented farm data. tified by Danzger. the NFLU 1970. the direction and form of their news agencies identified by Danzger were activity and the issues involved. The 1965 Coachella and Delano clearly different bias than the other papers strikes announced the UFW . (The Teamster validation with other news sources. that these years constituted a period of tionally.g. In By comparison. It is lenge. in during one period of time. state and to Danzger's conclusions given his own local governments. we have coded the types of groups the corrective mechanisms within the involved. Also. (5) agribusiness associa- valid.. During the period intervening between icy. Angeles Times and none in the Tribune. the NFLU (London and Anderson. not from insurgents. corporations and individual farm- test data (employed in Danzger's test). to constitute "notable" events in a jour- nalistic sense-e. the growers have the fewest set. our data set should be relatively germination and elite reform that made immune to the main source of error iden. say. Addi. (3) the liberal organi- data base. labor question in an offensive way only in 1965 eration of Labor convention. philanthropic.6 issues pertaining to farm news stories.254 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW organization that pressured the Los launched a strike wave in the Central Val- Angeles City Council to boycott grapes. We will argue of the events by news personnel. 1946. half appeared in the Los was somewhat arbitrary. This content downloaded from 142. political have demonstrated. sition of farm workers.129. As Snyder and Kelly (1976) zations (religious.jstor. Of these. possible the success of the late 1960s. 1970: 148-53). the UFW brought table- effort.. covers the sustained and suc- farm labor events.58. we should note the limitations worker insurgents. is entry in 1973 is not dealt with in this valid. we can place more confidence in our events reported in the Times. than another. more error exists in nonviolent pro. important because the geographic location of na. serious threat to growers (London and Anderson 1955. 1956-1964. and that systematic error creeps in the two challenges. regardless of cross. Chartered to organize launched by Cesar Chavez in 1962 and entered the farm workers at the 1946 American Fed.

differ- wholly favorable or unfavorable. differences exist between time periods in Two types of statistics drawn from thismovement-environment interaction.. Pearson Their views are generally presented quite product-moment correlations are re- effectively by the Department of farm workers.'" focused.129. (3) for auto-correlation are inappropriate. Bringing this to actions. low r's. are "symbolic". dealing with the consequences Issue is our final variable: (1) labor sup. controls nated the remaining two periods. court rulings and port was decisive in launching the chal- mass protest.. fall under the rubric of lenge.. ' symbolic" and "concrete" actions. or not rele. to indicate that considerable concomitant ble. the legality of collective tion analysis does not causally relate a dependent bargaining in agriculture. "Does liberal activity cause insurgency?" we are asking. e. N's. ences in descriptive statistics and r's for ernment was also the only type with a relevant pairings of groups will reveal any large number of "ambiguous" or "not differences that existed in the societal re- relevant" actions.109 on Fri. ambiguous. ported.. In addi- fluctuations in favorable and unfavorable tion to the structural constraints restrict- actions by different types of groups (see ing farm worker activity.7 Contrary to most time-series analyses. All other groups were either bear on the environmental thesis. i. Though external sup- terial resources. (2) working and living conditions of farm workers. the absence bers of both favorable and unfavorable of concomitant activity. percentages ences are then held to account for the divergent and percent differences set off the roughoutcomes. it was weak and frequently ill- ''concrete. e. The first period illustrates in classical tions in the political system during the terms the obstacles to a sustained and course of each challenge. surgents and liberals. place between insurgents and among vari- rounding up support among legislators. "Did insurgent differences between the three periodsand ofliberal activities co-occur to a different extent activity. When support was with- importation of Mexican labor under the drawn.g. a question variable (e.58. despite the mandate of agencies such as Purely rhetorical acts which attempt to the Department of Labor or the Education shape public opinion. High r's are taken activity by direction-into actions favora.g..g.rather than the causes of farm worker ply. The scores entering the analysis ture so they need do little public relations are counts of actions taken by different on their own. To capture more precisely the during one challenge than another? Did this -differ- divergent patterns of interaction taking ence relate to different challenge outcomes?" This content downloaded from 142. Instead of asking..g. Government officials at all are concerned with the form of action levels and branches came into the conflict adopted. INSURGENCY OF THE POWERLESS 255 of local police. between relevant pairs of groups.) We then can estimate the balance of favorable/unfavorable ac. on different issues. Period 1: The NFLU Conflict (1946-1955) rected" actions.g. for conven- The first step is to break down group tional calendar years. the Na- NFLU challenge. bracero and "green card" programs and Chartered at the 1946 convention of the which was the dominant issue during the American Federation of Labor. . level of liberal activity).jstor. and chart the successful farm worker challenge. in- (Only government had significant num. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. level of insurgent activity) to a set of independent variables (e. they do not depart in terms of issue or type of action from "di. the political en- Figures 1 and 2). protect the interests of deprived groups tempt to directly allocate control over ma. which domi. activity took place over the time period vant to the interests of farm workers. These differ- data set will be used. speeches or and Labor Committees in Congress to hearings.e. vironment confronting the insurgents was In addition to group and direction. e. which is largely centered around the grievances.7 from the analysis. which first appeared in significant mea- Instead. we unfavorable. the challenge soon collapsed. The correla- unionization. hiring strikebreakers. actions that at. We will distinguish between predominantly on the side of the growers. groups. it is designed to reveal whether significant sure only during the UFW challenge. unfavorable. ous groups in the polity. These are excluded sponse to the challenges.

) Checking these impres- except in instances of domestic labor sions. was former ineffective strikes. President of the NFLU. Lack- Henry Hasiwar. the NFLU used citizen's arrests to liberal activity (. 3). ever. 1975: ch. braceros were not to be employed the next period. 1970:78. sure of official response. An occasional church or stu. lib- labor or bracero program provided grow. the flood of braceros undermined seemingly being more efficacious (.org/terms . National Labor Relations Board initially mand wage increases and union recogni. By then the Union's resources the fields.109 on Fri. lobby ef- crops by braceros. ing strong labor or liberal support. requests for organized head of the Southern Tenant Farmers labor's support of boycotts. Neither de- Union. 1975: ch. Table 1 reports Pearson r's on rele- shortage and never to be employed in vant pairs of groups. concurred and reversed its position over a tion. Jenkins. in collapsed when a court injunction was is- economics from Columbia University. But the government-sponsored alien The curves delineating government. the ganizer in several industrial union drives demand for an end to the bracero traffic during the 1930s. the rela- U. gauge the societal response to insurgency. had been an effective or. call a strike.59). the strongest correlation is be- tests of union power.49 for symbolic acts). local courts ruled against the tactic The main issue for the period was labor and the Immigration Service refused to supply. American Federation of Labor were exhausted and organized-labor sup- affiliates would then provide strike relief port had long since collapsed (Galarza. and braceros reap. break the challenge (Galarza. gram and.S. The from a single employer. able to do-successfully organize the farm In response. tion disappears (-. allowing us to boost morale.D. the NFLU launched a workers of California's "industrialized" two-pronged political challenge-a de- agriculture.63). mand found a favorable audience. Department of Labor in 1951. Figure 1 charts the level of favorable dent group would furnish money and actions by selected groups. (Organized labor. for the issue ero administration was transferred to the of living and working conditions. through court actions. Looking at activities concerned remove alien "scabs" from the fields with this issue. As efforts.256 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW tional Farm Labor Union set out to ac. peared in the Los Bahos strike of 1952 to complish what predecessors had been un. had served as political liaison for for the boycott. Mitch. Jenkins. 1970: ch. H. weapon. eral. L.129. concrete activities 1951. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. and picket to keep "scabs" out of year later. insurgent/government activity drops only 1970. The union at- Domestic workers were pushed out of tempted. de. ment activities is high (. Galarza. forts and public protest. despite initial success. 1970:79). and political support to keep the picket 1970:73-92). NFLU was covered by the "hot cargo" tional: enlist as many workers as possible provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act. sued (improperly) on the grounds that the Initially.58. to get around the problem of ell. the DiGiorgio strike tween insurgents and favorable govern- of 1948 and the Imperial Valley strike of ment activity (. and farm worker activities move ers with an effective strike-breaking roughly in concert. How. the correlation between (Galarza. 4). the Director of Organizations. indicating that liberal enforce statutes prohibiting employment activity was not necessary for this mea- of braceros in labor disputed areas.jstor.70 the strike effort of domestic workers versus . to pressure gov- This content downloaded from 142. insurgent and pro-farm worker govern- Nor were affairs changed when the brac. In the Imperial slightly when controls are introduced for strike. played little public role in this or law. 1970. who ended in minor reforms in the bracero assumed prime responsibility for publicity administration (Galarza. The leadership cadre was ex. it Latin American unions and had a Ph. Largely a reflection fields where domestic workers had of the pressure campaign waged by the walked out on strike. 4). Ernesto Galarza.57). Yet in the two major NFLU. mand for termination of the bracero pro- perienced and resourceful. According to provisions of the though. the strategy was quite conven.08). R for (London and Anderson. line going.

Though govern. supply. I I I I I I .129. actions were actually symbolic (58%). Actions Favorable to Insurgents ernment to end the bracero program since ment tended to respond to concrete in- it was so central to the control of the labor surgency with favorable concrete actions.58. however. Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 60- 40- 30- 20 10 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 Government 30 20 10 1945 1950 ~~1955 1960 1965 1970 Liberal Organizations 30 20 10 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 Organized Labor 40 . I I . the majority of favorable governmental was largely symbolic. INSURGENCY OF THE POWERLESS 257 70. I I I I1I1I1I1I I I I I I I I 30 20 10 l 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 Insurgents Figure . The official response. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about.109 on Fri. This content downloaded from 142.

62 .42 Insurgents and Liberal Pressure Groups -. the NFLU ties and grower activities is quite high found itself relatively isolated.13 Insurgents and Organized Labor . actually stronger than the respective Though liberals did not rush to the side r for insurgents. e.17 Organized Labor and Government .56 versus -. the respective r's for the UFW The strength of this assertion is borne challenge indicate a quite different liberal out by information on actions favorable to response.g. r was .16 -.45). In addition to the predominantly un- tions were coded as favorable to the inter. The correlation .53 .63 .37 -. Figure 2 charts these actions for actions. government policies favored grow- What..70 Insurgents and Liberal Pressure Groups .45 . tent and concrete support. unfavorable actions by gov. Extent of Concomitant Activity-Pro Farm Worker (r's) All Symbolic Concrete Acts Acts Acts Period 1 (1946-1955) Insurgents and Government . The gents and growers in some even-handed major problem was the type of activities in "pluralist" way? Here it is necessary to which liberals engaged.33 Liberal Pressure Groups and Government . did not occur. When they acted. fields. favorable response of government.129.49 . for symbolic acts.16 . (. is the modest ernment and growers are underrepre. more indicative.67 -. Clearly.26 .02 for concrete acts). Overall. 10 .109 on Fri. government and growers.04 Insurgents and Liberal Pressure Groups .35 b Period 11 (1956-1964) Insurgents and Government -.08 -. ing ahead.002 . for concrete growers.02 Insurgents and Organized Labor . then the full universe two groups involved only symbolic acts of governmental activities . in the (.08 _b Liberal Pressure Groups and Government . r was . 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about.05 -. liberals consistently supported farm tage on a social problem and efforts to workers over growers but they rarely redress that problem. The news media will moved beyond symbolic proclamations. be more sensitive to efforts attempting to Only 24% of liberal actions during the define or solve that problem than to ef.59 . in critical in- actions. period were concrete. then. leaving braceros in struck braceros out of the fields.26 . What con- reported government actions can be comitant activity did exist between these coded as favorable. By contrast. are we to make of the fact ers over workers. be more favorable to growers.258 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Table 1.25 Organized Labor and Government .06 -. If only 50% of news. level of the correlation between liberal sented in our data.36 .83 Insurgents and Organized Labor . they did play a role in the This content downloaded from 142.06. 38% forts to maintain the status quo. Nor did many of these concrete moves government was more responsive to ag- decisively aid the farm worker cause. support from the liberal community. recall that we are using news media repor.01 Liberal Pressure Groups and Government . NFLU failed to receive sustained. Con.46 -.06 .83 and.26 -. Look- balance. Key ribusiness interests. In quantitative terms. b N for one group during this period was zero.26 -.08 Organized Labor and Government -. of the NFLU. such as pulling strikebreaking stances. during the UFW challenge were so.54 a Symbolic or concrete for both types of groups. though.58 Period III (1965-1972) Insurgents and Government . Where the UFW experienced consis- between pro-grower government activi.43 -.60 . and insurgent activity (. solid sponding to the conflict between insur.58. Even sequently.33 . that 50% of reported governmental ac.jstor.75). the est of farm workers? Was government re.56 -.04 .50 .

The late 1950s and the early 1960s. Farm worker insurgency during the re- tions and "red scare" charges by growers form period was at a low ebb. Insofar as liberals did act second Eisenhower administration and alongside insurgents.10). 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. When controls are in. Indeed. For considered a typical pattern of liberalism our purposes.109 on Fri. culminating in a sup- powerlessness. But there this and other studies in the larger project were problems even with this limited. the two presidential admin- of the time. Nor did the Kennedy years witness a sored conferences and issued study re. The two is. ports publicizing deplorable camp condi. secured a small grant from the This content downloaded from 142. dramatic escalation of insurgent activity. Liberals focused al. In what might be surgency showed a decline (Figure 1). National Agricultural Workers Union eral organizations until well into Period II. "red baiting" in Congressional investiga. (NAWU). Actions Favorable to Growers pressure campaign. they were concerned with the istrations can be treated as a single period. but the lead of Progressive Party candidate with developments that initially began to Henry Wallace in 1948. apparently it was in the brief Kennedy period emerge from the presence of public officials. now renamed the supply. in the case of farm workers. surgencies of the late 1960s did not origi- ing conditions of farm workers. Actions by and their political allies throughout the farm worker insurgents dropped from 16% late 1940s and early 1950s. Contrary to scale liberal support. Following nate with the Kennedy administration. In sues. some interpretations. to 11% of all pro-worker activity. the remarkable in- most exclusively on the working and liv. INSURGENCY OF THE POWERLESS 259 60 - so _ Period 1 Period 2 @ Period 3 40 - 30 - 2 0- 10 / 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 Government 30 - 20 - 10 - 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 Growers Figure 2.jstor. poverty and the question of labor 1956-1957 the NFLU.58. in- tions and child . the modestly positive relation turns nega. It was a humanitarian. portive environment for insurgent activ- nonpolitical posture. and "public interest" associations spon. easily dissipated by ity. as a period of germination. the tive (-. plight of the workers rather than the fact one that witnessed important realign- of their powerlessness or the role of the ments and shifts in political resources in bracero program in underwriting that the national polity. Period II: Elite Reform and Realignment troduced for government activity on the (1956-1964) relation between insurgents and liberals.129. were not to be linked by the lib. several religious appear during Eisenhower's second term.

Galarza. cratic National Convention included a gress.04 Insurgents and Liberal Pressure Groups -. Despite the absence of significant brought public pressure to bear on Secre- insurgency.84 .58.58 Liberal Pressure Groups and Government .26 .28 -.21 .50 . this was the sum of insurgent activ. 10 -.jstor.08 Liberal Pressure Groups and Government .37 Period 11 (1956-1964) Insurgents and Government -. growers retained a low profile in grants. sev- increased from 50Wo to 73%. the balance of forces in the tary of Labor James Mitchell to enforce national polity had begun to shift.20 . In late 1958. scoring administrative laxity.06 .59 __b Insurgents and Liberal Pressure Groups .02 .org/terms . by political elite that resulted in a more "bal- then the only full-time cadre member. and child labor. Actions existing laws regarding migrant camps favorable to the interests of farm workers throughout the nation. remaining on eral liberal pressure groups were joined the same plane (75%) throughout the fol. last years of the Eisenhower administra. (3) the ero- Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC).08 . the National Coun- the Times (Figure 2). the Demo- ero program to lobby bills through Con. enabling it to hang ronment: (1) policy conflicts within the on as a paper organization.04 .18 .35 Insurgents and Organized Labor .09 Liberal Pressure Groups and Government .45 .129.08 . stemming 1961). already involved in the With the direct adversaries largely re. 260 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Table 2..04 Insurgents and Organized Labor .59 . of migrant workers. In 1956.62 .76 Insurgents and Organized Labor .109 on Fri.08 Organized Labor and Government -.74 b . anced." neutral stance towards farm launched a publicity campaign to reveal workers. in the brief and ineffective organizing drive midst of elite divisions. (2) the formation of a reform co- maladministration and corruption within alition composed of liberal pressure the bracero administration. Until the insurgency of Period III plank for increased welfare aid to mi- began. The next year.002 .40 Organized Labor and Government . Extent of Concomitant Activity-Pro Grower (r's) All Work-Life Labor Union- Issues Conditionsa Shortagea izationa Period I (1946-1955) Insurgents and Government .21 -. cil of Churches.63 -. In early 1958. affairs shifted began a study of migrant camp conditions into the hands of government and the lib.26 -.05 Period III (1965-1972) Insurgents and Government . immediately from reapportionment. early civil rights movement in the South.17 . and arguing that federal labor policies tion. United Auto Workers. The concern of liberal pressure groups Growers remained publicly inactive and initially was focused on the need to im- seemingly secure in their position. sion of the Congressional power-base of generating only one reported strike (in conservative rural interests.16 . two as yet unrelated issues-poverty and This content downloaded from 142. Beginning during the program. Aside from a groups and organized labor that.13 . was able to exer- launched in 1959 by the Agricultural cise greater political influence.33 .. ity for the nine-year Period If (Figure 1). tired from the public arena. three interrelated developments were the origin of social problems.36 . the Council erals.21 Insurgents and Liberal Pressure Groups . The brought about this new supportive envi. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about.13 -. prove housing and educational conditions aroused only at renewal time for the brac.23 Organized Labor and Government .57 .36 a Work-life for both types of groups: labor shortage for b b N for one group during this period was zero.49 -.50 . by the AFL-CIO in attacking the bracero lowing UFW period.

Actions favorable tighten up enforcement of regulations to farm workers increased from the un. the advo. 1971: favorable 50% prevailing during Period I 151-5). headed by Norman Smith. jockying for position for the Republican " shake-ups" of day laborers. To argue now that a pub. sensitivity within the ernmental actions. the Department of Labor organized labor. organized labor thought possible. the AWOC produced lit. Though the AWOC drive con. and to farm workers is modest (. became a managed to sponsor a number of "job ac. under pressure from the liberal re- support had never before been offered by form coalition. 1964: 37: 1. national political . paign appeared almost immediately. Though the correlation between liberal ac- ternational incident over their presence. Despite strong fi. The supportive environment was a shift in upshot was a series of executive orders to governmental actions. October 5.109 on Fri. periods (. from internal conflicts within the health measures. tivity and government activity favorable Officials quickly arrested the cadre. 1970:47-50. with inspection of housing. it produced neither contracts activity. change taking place in official views. Imperial Valley strike of February. focus of governmental attentions shifted nificant. the AWOC Vice-Presidential nomination.04 for the sumed over one million dollars of AFL. it is con- the AWOC ceased to exist except on siderably higher than during the other paper. an open fight between the Taft and East- ricultural Workers Organizing Committee ern wings of the Republican Party de- (AWOC).50). in part. educational opportunity. 1958-1959 arrived. this type of financial 1957.8 In 1958. 1958. Of course. the The fusion of these two issues was sig. but the con. at the time becoming a took a new interest in farm workers. national "right-to-work" law. likely to have impact. with the conservatives favoring a former UAW organizer. In "strong man" in the cabinet because of 1959. and public in part. increased from 40% October 20.M. from the Times data. nor stable membership (London and An. assurances of The change in official actions stemmed. Yet. cates of reform had begun to look at the Mitchell took the Department of Labor in source of problems in terms of a system. abolished the NAWU and created the Ag.129. and this in. In dicates the shift. This content downloaded from 142. Of these. strikebreaking braceros and create an in. a more pro-union direction than was About the same time.58. 1972). a former labor consul- later happened more generally with the tant for New York department stores and New Left (cf." and therefore more 8 New York Times. as nancial backing. economic conditions from the labor supply issue (56% of favor- already had been linked with social depri. Like the NFLU. tion of farm workers' living and working cern of liberal groups in the past had been conditions (73% during Period II). 1961. a veloped. the paign launched by the reform coalition. the portion coded "concrete. under Mitchell's guidance carried out an The final element in the formation of a internal review of farm labor policies. Secretary of Labor lic program of importing foreign labor James Mitchell was a surprise Eisenhower perpetuated the list of conditions deplored appointee from the Eastern wing of the by liberals was a substantial change. The effects of the campaign can be cap- the AWOC used violence to intimidate tured. When the economic recession of to a more "balanced" 68% of all gov. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. the A second factor contributing to the shift AWOC had to confront the problem of in official actions was the pressure cam- braceros. figure of elite reform within Republican tions" but only one major strike and little circles. Mitchell. a future protege of Nelson Rockefeller. 9: 2.33 for the first and . an advocate of unionism and apparently tle results. Concentrating on 4 A. covering migrant camps (Craig. third) and it is independent of insurgent CIO funds. Indicative of the the public debate. solid organization. VI. 77).jstor. the AFL-CIO Executive Council his success in mollifying unions. In the one reported strike. Tangible effects of the pressure cam- derson. INSURGENCY OF THE POWERLESS 261 labor policies-were now firmly linked in in Period I to 65%. As Republican Party. Perrow. able actions during Period I) to the ques- vations in public parlance.

1960. the fight against the program organizations depended. the New Frontiersmen. Growers.109 on Fri.58. tutes requiring farm employment to be of. agribusi. the reform effort failed. Though the and a pressure campaign conducted by eventual termination of the bracero pro. rebelled when asked to fice." Secretary of Ag. coalition.262 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Administration to rising unemployment did refocus the concern of liberals and levels increased. 1959. which played a critical role in ell argued that the program exerted dem. upon This content downloaded from 142. Only at the last minute was a pres- up into a full-scale. The next month. other reforms of the same period.g. For the first time. 1966). then.g. Mitchell organized labor on the structural problem vowed to enforce more fully the 1951 sta. bracero program stemmed from the nar- 1971: 156-61). bracero users. responding to Mexican diplo- associations engaged that other adminis. stemming from elite-level conflicts organized labor had formed. gents. Mitchell took did vow to enforce fully the laws restrict- an even stronger step. Once in of- met automatically. 1971:174). program. special interest. of farm worker powerlessness. In response. the newed. The mechanization of the Texas Initially. The reform coalition sustained the fered to domestic workers prior to impor. "green card" commuters. 1960. Secretary Mitchell withdrew of specialty crops the main bracero users. farm bloc leaders fixed on the bracero ing views. for the first time. though de- provide more justification (Jacobs. votes. Into this breach in the rowing power base of the Congressional political elite stepped the liberal-labor farm bloc. the Democratic platform con- tomed to having their bracero requests demned the bracero program. to defend gressional farm bloc leaders that this was the program. In cotton harvest had left California growers March. long accus. could be sac- ness pushed a two-year renewal of the rificed to keep the main planks of the farm bracero program through Congress. program intact (Hawley. In February. In tation of braceros. in turn. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. able to save the program tration "strong man. In testimony before the the last time the program would be re- House Committee on Agriculture. the Meatcutters Union a chance to air oppos. mounted by Governor Pat over renewal of the bracero program. resolving the dispute on the When the test came. Brown of California and the Department The Farm Bureau and the state grower of State. absence of activity by farm worker insur- tutes. cabinet-level battle sure campaign. his program. In addition to the efforts of the reform son defended the program. emerges from this anal- bated seriously and a loose coalition of ysis as a period of reform and political liberal pressure groups (e. Period II. the White House The following year.. the fall of the workers and should be abolished (Craig. the issue had been de. il. the division within went formally on record against the pro- the Eisenhower Administration opened gram. At the same time. . Amid promises from Con- riculture Ezra Taft Benson. came about in the virtual to break strikes (there were other substi.129. Ben. the farm program that could be scuttled ditions. narrow. matic pressure. while Mitch. newal time in 1963. By re- reformers in support of legislation to ex. Congressional reapportion- support coalition. as a cabinet level. National realignment that dramatically altered the Council of Churches. White House took a neutral stance. giving the Cotton Council and the without damaging the main planks. liberal public-interest organizations and gram did not undermine growers' ability organized labor. joining the liberal ing bracero use (Craig.jstor. a one-year extension was granted. Searching for items in opened hearings on health and camp con. 1963: manding no important statutory changes. the ment had visibly shaken the conservative House Committee on Public Welfare farm bloc leaders. e.. campaign over the next three years. The activism of several key liberal legal aliens). and the onstrable adverse effects upon domestic new elite-level neutrality. National Advisory prospective fortunes of insurgents. 183-4). Re- Committee of Farm Labor. temporarily. the Kennedy Adminis- tend minimum-wage laws to agriculture tration was in the pursuit of a public issue and to impose new restrictions on the use ("poverty") and courting minority-group of braceros. NAACP) and forms.

In. etc. NFWA had over 500 slightly more favorable than before. can-Americans.109 on Fri. the active members and began shifting direc- UFW never was able to launch effective tions. By the end of the period. etc. the Migrant Ministry had of powers. especially the The initial base for the United Farm growth of middle-class disposable income Workers was Cesar Chavez's National that might be invested in worthy causes Farm Workers Association (NFWA) and (McCarthy and Zald. group of the AWOC.58. Rather. Operating nearby. Chavez had been director of the the beneficiaries and. external support played a lenge. Over a hundred contracts migrant farm workers. were exercising a new set 1972). programs (e. salient to upwardly-mobile urban Mexi- Most of these were symbolic in character. INSURGENCY OF THE POWERLESS 263 broad economic trends.129. However. merging its own The key to this dramatic success was community organization (the FWO) with the altered political environment within the NFWA and sponsoring the Chavez- which the challenge operated. liberal churches and foundations. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. Given the low event-count for this chal- As before. (for a history. there is little rea.) to unionization. the remaining active neither did the tactics of the challenge dif. insurgency became sustained. the number Board of Directors to move beyond issues of insurgent actions reported totalled 44. were Community Service Organization. substituting community area in California. Alinsky-styled urban community-organ- ization with strong ties to civil rights groups. teamed up with Chavez. massive Delta region (the Mississippi Freedom Labor support for insurgency. a domestic mission of the success of the United Farm Workers was National Council of Churches servicing unmistakable. union hiring halls were prevailing policy change within the Na- in operation in every major agricultural tional Council. but with quite different results. Drawing on his liberal con- surgent actions reached a new peak and tacts. The dynamics of that challenge are virtually indentical to the UFW-sponsorship by liberal had adopted a neutral stance toward farm churches. more so than the NFLU . wages had been raised 1950s. in the third among farm workers in the Central Valley period. coopera- perienced and talented. Period III: The UFW Success (1965-1972) Frustrated by the refusal of the CSO During the NFLU period. expanding beyond economic benefit strikes. the grant Ministry. Significantly. the statistics reported pertain to the critical role in launching the challenge. of California.9 During tional polity. they were to prove the 1950s. UFW. Though the directed effort. workers. an stimulated by them. see Jenkins (1975: chs. A total of 143 actions conducted had developed a new concern with pov- by farm worker insurgents were recorded. some support from the AFL-CIO. Chavez was able to secure the back- remained at a high level throughout the ing of several liberal organizations which period. This content downloaded from 142.jstor. if anything. Chavez resigned his post only 27% being concrete. Several son to believe that they were markedly small "job actions" were sponsored.g. 1973). By 1964. several Filipino fer. erty and the problems of minority groups.10 potential for mobilizing a social base was By summer. labor union. a credit union. 1965. tive buying. the Migrant Ministry followed the by almost a third. acting organization and social action programs through ranch committees set up under for traditional evangelical ones (Pratt. see Hilton. During the late had been signed. NFLU. concentrated in a four-year period organize a community organization (1948-1951). farm workers. 71% of these were concrete The main sponsor was the California Mi- in character. though. Though the UFW cadre was ex. The boycotts that secured success for the UFW also had been tried by the 9 For a detailed discussion.. the political elite Union). Insurgents remnants of the AWOC still receiving did not stimulate these changes in the na. What had changed was the political 10 There was also a brief challenge launched in environment-the liberal community now 1965 among black tenant farmers in the Mississippi was willing to provide sustained. 7-8). each contract. Insurgency was in the winter of 1961 and set out to brief. 1969).

provided by sponsors and membership vent a major harvest loss. protest actions were used Chavez pressed the NFWA for a strike to secure contributions and. Students had to contribute support. lic attention. hoped to take advantage of sustained sponsorship on the part of the grower uncertainty generated by termina. the same pattern recurred-a Given the failure of strike actions. and their supporters. concomitant activity between insurgents berg. that the The strength of liberal-labor support for news media and sympathetic public might the UFW is indicated by the high level of ignore protesters' demands (cf. six years. pressured into refusing to handle "scab" ferent from the NFLU experience was the products. clergy. What proved dif.) refused aliens (cf. a boycott. tion of insurgent and liberal activities was bolic palliatives. More impor- This content downloaded from 142. the boycott. While the correla- they often were easily satisfied with sym. Lipsky's rent-strikers Delano-Arvin area of the San Joaquin Val. contributions from labor Though dramatic. Migrant Ministry and organized labor tion of the bracero program. London and An. etc. securing the sympathy of sources of mobilized farm workers. the NFWA joined the growers. members had to call sympathy strikes ficient indirect leverage against growers to when grocery managers continued to secure contracts. Taylor. 1969. By dramatic actions designed to boycott houses. Catholic churches and through which much of this support was labor unions had to donate office space for garnered.. Butchers' union movement organization and exercise suf. 264 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW work-crews. Dunne. launched a series of wage strikes.129. even when attentive. Lipsky found that protest gaining table. The AWOC guaranteed a stable resource base. the especially from liberals and organized commitments of supporting organizations labor. 1975) and that. To exercise that pressure. Growers refused to meet with chic" cocktail parties with proceeds to union representatives. churches. Teamsters had to refuse cause. in the form of vote. 1970. in- third parties to the conflict so that they stead. The UFW's use of pro. Railway Union members capture the attention of a sympathetic had to identify "scab" shipments for public and highlight the "justice" of their boycott pickets. With the AWOC out on strike. major grocery chains were ner. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. a dramatic strike holding for a week. Over the next dues. Golden. a ability of the insurgents. political candi- test tactics departed from that of rent dates and elected officials had to endorse strikers analyzed by Lipsky (1968. thereby.58. to exercise power against September 16th. 1967.109 on Fri. 1966. Matthiessen. the presence of during the third period (. 1970). 1967. For the UFW.62). 1975. unions. grower successful outcome required indirect intransigence. sought liberal pressure on public officials. modest in Period I (.45). acting in the new combination of external resources had to political environment. police intimidation. Dunne. though. forced growers to the bar- put differed. the strike soon col. time to picketing grocery stores and ship- Political protest was the mechanism ping terminals. Sympathetic liberal organizations upon ethnic rivalries and recruiting illegal (e. The effectiveness of the Though the basic mechanism was the boycott depended little upon the re- same (namely. Marches. 1975). tant. stock "scab" products. It would use their superior resources to was the massive outpouring of support. On Mexican Independence Day. universities. theater showings and "radical lapsed. Though the UFW . 1970). it was strong perienced these problems. first in Nor were the uses of protest-acquired the Coachella Valley and then in the resources the same. a sufficient number "La Causa" supplemented the budget of workers crossed the picket lines to pre. intervene in support of the powerless). ley.jstor.g. gradual means of exercising power against grow- replacement of the work force by playing ers. symbolic arrests of picket lines (Chavez. Kush. to secure outside be mobilized. provided unreliable resources. More impor- derson. they became a political symbol. that made the boycott effective and the uses to which outside support was and. to purchase "scab" grapes. and public speeches captured pub- London and Anderson. insurgents were able to sustain the to handle "hot cargo".

81 ver. government preserved its tions favorable to farm workers rose from neutral stance despite less visible pressure 46% of federal level activity in the first from any of the partisans. tant changes during the reform period. actions are lagged by one year. In Period II.02 for slightly more than on the federal level. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about.63 during the NFLU cent of all official actions were favorable period). liberals were far more concrete in quiescent but the liberal-labor coalition their support for insurgents.1 UFW period is associated with either in- The more "balanced. As a roughly neutral tions hardly document the point. the correla- tion between insurgent/liberal actions and pro- worker government actions is considerably stronger I Despite the fact that help from organized labor (. Only organized poverty programs helped to "loosen" labor appeared to be performing a pres- small town politics. far lower than the federal level. 1971). This rela. Ac. when farm workers were ac. this actions drops to the lowest point in the meant that court rulings no longer study (. opposition on the the third. actors. the correlation between liberal to farm workers (as against 50% and 68% organizations and favorable government in Periods I and II). No longer a key player in the con- The most striking changes in official ac.74 and . respectively). r is reform period continued.109 on Fri." neutral posture surgent or liberal activities. Government divided on the question. tional politics. police harassment. In the first was experiencing growing influence in na- period. 12 Corroborating this interpretation. sure function. flict. respectively) once insurgent and liberal was critical to the boycott's success. had left government in a neutralized posi- sources to the cause. fed- tions favorable to farm workers reduce eral actions tending to be neutral. still under grower dominance. Berger. our correla. For insurgent of government that was the product of the and favorable government actions. in the UFW period. Sixty-nine per.12 period.06 for symbolic activities). unionism in agriculture (r-. Given the fact that supportive. of course. though not responding di- tion is weaker than that for liberal pressure groups. the percent favorable dropped sus .129. Nor do to 45%. lent their re. In the NFLU chal.46). Period III. r was . against farm workers. but still under the influence of the tions took place on the federal level. . INSURGENCY OF THE POWERLESS 265 tant. only 26% of official actions were judged favorable to workers. because much of the supportive the fact that this was the only instance in the study in labor action was "local" in character and often went which time-lags produced marked increases in r's unreported in the Times. part of growers and allied governmental more under the control of growers (cf. There were numerous instances of McConnell. of boycotted products by the Department when growers had opposition only from of Defense. reform .04). There is a modest correla- Civil Rights Commission and Congres. 1953:177.64).33 and . Though not conclusive. of insurgents while state ac- liberal activities rarely occurred jointly tions. hearings by the U. and outspoken opposition insurgents. concomitant activities were al.56 versus . con- with pro-worker government activities tinued to oppose insurgents.08.35). In Period I. statistical controls for governmental ac. Official rity and afforded insurgents a legal basis positions had already undergone impor- to contest grower employment practices. lends the interpretation some plausibility.04 versus . This content downloaded from 142. federal and II. it was concrete activities (. Concretely. large-scale purchases lowed a different pattern. fol. welfare legislation largely centering around the legitimacy of gave farm workers more economic secu. government followed along a year be- lenge. But when insurgency reappeared in lenge. during the UFW chal. rectly to pressure as before. tion between symbolic activities by or- sional committees publicized "injustices" ganized labor and government (. to 63% in the second and 74% in There was. State and local government.58. concrete activities).16.S.50 for Periods I routinely went against insurgents. National politicians.26 versus . hind the chief partisans. most wholly symbolic (.jstor. if not the correlation (r =. such as Senators The termination of the bracero program Kennedy and McGovern. it is clear that liberals directed Significantly little of the pro-worker their efforts toward supporting insurgents trend in governmental actions during the rather than pressuring government. low (. 67% were favorable. (r=. tion. participant.58. we would argue.

the emergence of insurgency. lack of ployers were no longer able to rely upon collective resources and controls exer- . The NFLU received token con. In Period I. During the reform for viable changes that conform to the period. What produced the arises threatening these private interests. in fluctuations in discontent to account for Period II. Workers struck in 1965. . Sponsors then the UFW received massive contributions. conflicts errupted within the polit. it was the interjection of re- Conclusion sources from outside.58. insurgency and preserve the status quo. If the support of the The dramatic turnabout in the political liberal community is necessary for the environment originated in economic success of a challenge by a deprived trends and political realignments that took group. to be fully responsive to their inter. Moreover. then several grower actions and pro-grower gov. vacillating support for its organizations decides to sponsor an insur- boycott and confronted major acts of re. r for are misleading. trenched political position." neutral of. gent challenge. policy can be checked. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. But if an opposing coalition of established tributions. interests of those groups still excluded ical elite over policies pertaining to farm from American politics. serving as umpire over sorship played a critical role in launching the group contest. tablished liberal and labor organizations. in place quite independent of any "push" effect. the groups with significant grievances (cf. during the UFW chal. Public agencies and of- both insurgent organizations. assumptions found in the classic literature ernmental actions. a pluralist game. are rather striking. Rather than focusing on grower-government activity was . especially at the federal cised by superiors-not the absence of level. But. An indication of the sharpness of one which made a successful challenge the displacement of growers is given by possible.109 on Fri. public officials react by helping to contain ference in political environment encoun. frequency of organized demands for change. serve as protectors. there workers. tered. it seems lenge. able to determine the cutting edge from insurgents. lenge.jstor. tional Farm Labor Union failure from the Nor does the political process centered United Farm Worker success was the around insurgency conform to the rules of societal response to insurgent demands. both ficials have interests of their own to pro- movements confronted similar obstacles tect. interests that often bring them into to mobilizing a social base and mounting close alignment with well-organized effective strikes. In both instances. The American polity had In most respects. Since This content downloaded from 142. Elite divisions provided the is the possibility of abandonment. When insurgency protest and boycotts.129. the levels of concomitance between If this analysis is correct.05. 266 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW from Governor Reagan and President opening for reform measures then being Nixon.62. then the liberal community is. the challenges were not been uniformly permeable to all strikingly similar. the normal bias in public sistance by public authorities. insuring that the polit- sustained support for its boycotts and en. countered a more "balanced. both resorted to political private-interest groups. the correlation dropped to a negli. did result in a new political environment. agricultural em. Government does not act farm worker community. the process entailed by reform grower interests and to contain the chal. The implications for other challenges ficial response. In contrast. that led to insurgent efforts. By the time the United Farm are relatively constant and pervasive.more fruitful to assume that grievances gible . ical elite remains neutral to the challenge. leadership cadre came from outside the Gamson. Especially for deprived groups. Public officials Though the reforms did not directly effect no longer acted so consistently to enhance success. sharp difference in outcome was the dif. not sharp increases The critical factor separating the Na. in discontent. as a neutral agent. external spon. 1975). For several of the movements of the 1960s.discontent-account for the relative in- est in blocking unionization. growers had lost their en.75. pressed by a newly active coalition of es- However.

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Charles Taylor.129." American N. century American city. for in.). Linton. Rose.). Arnold Ma. Charles. York: Basic Books. N. Sciences Support Grant RR07012-08 from the Divi. hopes to make a ven. New 1975 Chavez and the Farm Workers. Sociological Review 42:105-23. Na- only to outcomes-such as variations in tional Institute of Health. Pratt.58. New York: York: Free Press. David 1962 The Theory of Collective Behavior. F. 1975 "Revolutions and collective violence. CALIFORNIA.: Prentice-Hall. 1972 "Hardship and collective violence in Wilson. Carol longitudinal design of the research dis- Warren. Engle- Snyder. a theoretical formulation is presented which explores the impact on the family of changes in the individual's access to actual and potential wealth. Reading.jstor. Skolnick. the validity of newspaper data. versity Press. The conclusions of studies of This content downloaded from 142. Polsky (eds. his. 1959. Theories of social change in relation to would permit an empirical assessment of the family have received considerable at. a macro-structural analysis of household stance. 1830 to 1960. 1973 Introduction to Social Movements. SOCIAL CHANGE AND THE FAMILY: LOS ANGELES. media sensitivity and 1957 Collective Behavior. which presents tention from social scientists. New York. Beacon. Englewood Cliffs. Smelser. Mi. 1963. Charles 1972 The Liberalization of American Protes. The author would which these changes came about." American Sociolog. New 1951 The Governmental Process.109 on Fri.: Addison-Wesley 1967 The Power Structure." In tantism.J. Cambridge. Boston: York: McGraw-Hill.J. 1959. A multivariate analysis. 1972 Collective Behavior (2nd ed. is used to explore the changing relationships between economic. demographic and other structural variables on household structure. Ronald B. 14 Jul 2017 20:21:22 UTC All use subject to http://about. Tilly. Louise Tilly and Richard Tilly University Press. Ma. New ical Review 37:520-32. Until recently. 1976). David and Charles Tilly wood Cliffs. Greenstein and N. Smith for his work on the larger project time periods-but also to the processes by of which this paper is one part. as results. Studies of social change can attend not sion of Research Resources. 3. Handbook of Political Science. Henry J.: Prentice-Hall. 1972 The Radical Attack on Business. Snyder. I. Bureau of Health Pro- fessions Education and Manpower Training. based on the individual census schedules for the city of Los Angeles in 1850 and 1870. Parsons. Knopf. 1975 The Rebellious Century. Neil J. The findings suggest that a dynamic.: Harvard University Press. 42 (April):268-291 Using Marx's description of "the so-called primitive accumulation" which he associates with the development of capitalism in the West. Special thanks are given the distribution of family types in different to James E. Lutz Berkner and Robert Brenner for criti- cal readings of this paper. 1850-1870O BARBARA LASLETT University of Southern California American Sociological Review 1977.268 AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Perrow. David and William Kelly .: Wayne State Uni. Vol. organization in a developing nineteenth- Goode. however. these theories. Hare. Truman. a version of which was cussed in this paper provides an opportu- presented at the 1976 meetings of the American nity to empirically assess process as well Sociological Association. Detroit. contribution to this assessment and to torical research has been lacking which suggest a new conceptual framework for understanding the family in historical * This investigation was supported by Biomedical perspective. The also like to thank Edna Bonacich. This paper. New York: Oxford Tilly. Marxian model can help explain the effects of social change on the family. 1973: ch. (see. John France. Ralph and Lewis Killian 1977 "Conflict intensity. David Heer.