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The Chicken TrailFollowing Workers, Migrants, and Corporations across the Americas$
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Kathleen C. Schwartzman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451164

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451164.001.0001

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Ethnic Succession in the South

Ethnic Succession in the South

(p.15) 2 Ethnic Succession in the South
The Chicken Trail

Kathleen C. Schwartzman

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how major historical transformations in the U.S. poultry industry and economy contributed to “ethnic succession” in the South. In particular, it describes the ethnic succession that transpired in the meat and poultry plants during the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century. For meat, the first succession occurred as factories moved from the industrial Midwest farther south. Earlier workers were mostly white—many immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe—along with African American men. In poultry, the workforce shifted from African American women to Hispanics. In poultry, a third succession, involving a growing Somali population (and in some cases political refugees from Burma, Laos, or Sudan), began around 2000. Both documented and undocumented immigrants worked in the meat and poultry businesses. Hispanics, including the undocumented, were now found in occupations that had been the domain of African Americans.

Keywords:   poultry industry, ethnic succession, South, immigrants, Hispanics, undocumented immigrants, African Americans

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