Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Claimsmaking and Conscientization: A Case of Farmworker Advocacy on California’s Central Coast
by Funke, Renate Johanna, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2019, 294; 28026822
Abstract (Summary)

An advocacy initiative spearheaded by the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy is examined against a complex sociohistorical background, from a variety of perspectives. These include the global and local context of agriculture and their intersection in California as its residents grapple with a maze of regional, statewide, and federal policies in a system that profits from the “illegality” of immigrants. The method of case study is used to showcase grassroots activism, and its impact at various levels is examined through the life-world and discourse of multiple players, over three years. Special attention is given to the heterogeneity of the area’s Mexican workforce, notably the subpopulation of recently arrived, Indigenous farm laborers from Oaxaca, highlighted in its cohesive traditions, challenges in the diaspora, and the social energy it brought to the initiative. Its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats are revealed through investigative journalism and critical ethnography, relying on archival and interactive sources. Theories from the emerging field of social change evaluation help situate it while methods from community, liberation, Indigenous, and eco-psychology point to tools of use for marginalized populations. The lens of depth psychology further elucidates root causes in the polarized public’s disregard for the land and disdain for the people working on it. Given the neocolonial setting, the study attempts a degree of epistemic equity, using decolonial approaches born from struggle in the global South that contribute notions such as people power/contra-power, and conscientization.

Keywords: farmworker advocacy, indigenous, psychology, coloniality, power.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ciofalo, Nuria
Commitee: Watkins, Mary, Fox, Jonathan
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, & Ecopsychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Ethnic studies, Social psychology
Keywords: Decolonial, Epistemic equity, Grass roots activism, Social change, California
Publication Number: 28026822
ISBN: 9798662482074
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