Date of Award

7-17-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Robert Heasley, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

J. Beth Mabry, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Valerie Gunter, Ph.D.

Abstract

Research on migrant and seasonal farmworkers have outlined several broad themes for this population: these workers have high levels of poverty and transiency, poor health and living conditions, suffer from food insecurity, have poor English speaking and writing skills, lack education, and, are isolated from the general population due to the nature of their jobs in the rural agricultural sector as well as cultural barriers. Federal employment-related anti-poverty policies have been created and implemented to help these farmworkers, a sub-set of America's working poor, increase their economic security. Education and job training programs (that are tools for such social policies) assist farmworkers increase their economic security by making them more employable and preparing them for better and more stable jobs that lead to higher earnings. Few studies have focused on how effective these policies have been in helping migrant and seasonal farmworkers. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the impact of federally funded employment-related social policies (and education and job training services that are instruments for such policies) on migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the United States. It does so by first constructing the policy-landscape for employment-related policies. Next, using data from the National Agricultural Workers Survey, this study examines whether these policies have achieved their objective of increasing the economic security of America's migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

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