The Racial exclusion of migrant laborers: racial poitics and contracted mill workers in industrial New England during the red scare.
(ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)
Paper short abstract:
Discussing migrant textile and manufacturing laborers in New England factories during the late 18th-early 20th Century, this paper examines racialization processes through the labor rights movement and workers' insertion into US democracy through participation in cultural and economic associations.
Paper long abstract:
Late 18th and early 19th Century international flows brought southern, eastern European and Asian laborers to work in New England's textile and manufacturing mills. The migrant workers confronted their position in the labor system by negotiating with, rejecting, and integrating into the racialized discourses that sought to racialize laborers—part of US democratic political power process and legislation enforcement designed to maintain the migrants' place as a cheap, pliable labor force. This case study looks at migrant laborers from Portugal and Portuguese islands in various labor contexts in New England. examining how the laborers responded to their marginalization and racialization through their participation in the labor movement and through community wide economic, cultural, and civic associations.
Laboring racialization in the lived experience of settling, moving, and making place