Exploit the Land, Exploit the People: The Treadmill of Production and Community Advocates for Farmworkers in Texas
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The structure of the agricultural industry in the United States has changed significantly since World War II, with consequences for agricultural laborers. This study is framed by Schnaiberg's (1980) treadmill of production theory, using semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 16 community advocates for farmworkers in Texas. The results of these interviews demonstrate that community advocates face factors limiting their resistance to the treadmill, including: funding restrictions, the structure of the agricultural industry in Texas, socio-cultural conditions for Texas farmworkers, and limitations to binational/transnational efforts. Community advocates also discussed factors promoting their resistance to the treadmill, including: exclusion from the system, integration of human and environmental issues, participation in networks and coalitions, and promotion of an alternative. This study documents both groups of factors within the process of treadmill resistance.