Journal of Working-Class Studies
Unauthorized workers are foundational to neoliberal production regimes in the United States. The economic indispensability of such ‘disposable’ laborers in the era of flexible accumulation and the new energy they bring to labor activism promise to shape the emergence of the 21st century working class. This article explores the dynamics of labor discipline among undocumented workers, situating the current experiences of transnational migrants within a broader cultural history of the recruitment, disciplining, and exploitation of workers from vulnerable populations. Currently, conditions of illegality and deportability make transnational workers particularly vulnerable to labor rights violations and wage theft. The structure of immigration law, which frames and facilitates exploitation, serves the interests of capital and disciplines workers to perform their role as a subordinated class. Nonetheless, the confluence of labor militancy and immigrants’ rights activism over the past decade provides hope for social and political change based in solidarity and worker agency.
Copyright 2017, Miranda Cady Hallett
Working-Class Studies Association
Hallett, Miranda Cady, "Labor, Discipline, and Resistance: Transnational Migrant Workers "On the Line"" (2017). Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work Faculty Publications. 85.