ERIC Number: ED414102
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
The Features and Roles of Rural Latinos: Cross-National Perspectives. JSRI Occasional Paper No. 26. Latino Studies Series.
Rochin, Refugio I.
In rural America, Latinos are the fastest growing population, increasing by 30 percent between 1980 and 1990. Rural Latinos are a large and growing share of the labor hired on farms, but earn only 60 cents for each dollar earned by nonfarm hired workers. This trend is largely due to the restructuring of agriculture in general, and the meatpacking industry in particular, in which production is becoming increasingly decentralized, contracted out to peripheral firms, and operated by fewer nonunionized assembly processes of workers. Meatpacking creates unusually high population mobility and a parallel high turnover in school population. Educational issues include the increased need for bilingual and ESL instructors, who are difficult to attract to rural places; and the fact that rural Latino teenagers have difficulty gaining English skills and social confidence, resulting in truancy, pregnancy, dropping out, and gang development. Communities with proportionately higher concentrations of Latinos tend to have greater poverty, lower median incomes, and lower educational attainment, and places with rapid labor turnover often confront sudden demands for housing, education, health care, and social services. On the other hand, Latinos are giving rural towns a population revival in the face of White flight, expanding the tax base, revitalizing local schools, and infusing cultural diversity. Poorer conditions in rural communities result not so much from the increase in Latino populations as from the exodus of better-educated, better-paid Whites. Policies with regard to Latinos have been reactive rather than proactive, with inconsistent results. This paper also discusses Latino farms and farmers, self-employment and entrepreneurship among rural Latinos, Latino farmworkers, and issues of rural industrialization and restructuring. (Contains 30 pertinent readings.) (TD)
Descriptors: Community Change, Economic Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Employment Patterns, Ethnic Discrimination, Ethnic Distribution, Farm Labor, Farmers, Hispanic Americans, Immigrants, Income, Meat Packing Industry, Migrant Workers, Migration, Rural Population, Rural Urban Differences, Whites
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Julian Samora Research Inst.