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Made in Baja

The Lives of Farmworkers and Growers behind Mexico's Transnational Agricultural Boom

Christian Zlolniski


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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (9/3/2019)


Much of the produce that Americans eat is grown in the Mexican state of Baja California, the site of a multibillion-dollar export agricultural boom that has generated jobs and purportedly reduced poverty and labor migration to the United States. But how has this growth affected those living in Baja? Based on a decade of ethnographic fieldwork, Made in Baja examines the unforeseen consequences for residents in the region of San Quintín. The ramifications include the tripling of the region’s population, mushrooming precarious colonia communities lacking basic infrastructure and services, and turbulent struggles for labor, civic, and political rights. Anthropologist Christian Zlolniski reveals the outcomes of growers structuring the industry around an insatiable demand for fresh fruits and vegetables. He also investigates the ecological damage—"watercide”—and the social side effects of exploiting natural resources for agricultural production. Weaving together stories from both farmworkers and growers, Made in Baja provides an eye-opening look at the dynamic economy developing south of the border.

Praise For Made in Baja: The Lives of Farmworkers and Growers behind Mexico's Transnational Agricultural Boom

"[T]his is an important and recommended book for anthropologists with a political economy orientation and interested in agriculture and capitalism beyond the topic of peasant studies."
— Anthropology Book Forum

University of California Press, 9780520300637, 272pp.

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

About the Author

Christian Zlolniski is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is the author of Janitors, Street Vendors, and Activists: The Lives of Mexican Immigrants in Silicon Valley.