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Continuing La Causa: Organizing Labor in California’s Strawberry Fields

Gilbert Felipe Mireles
Continuing La Causa: Organizing Labor in California’s Strawberry Fields
ISBN: 978-1-935049-64-7
2013/191 pages/LC: 2013013077
Latinos: Exploring Diversity and Change
A FirstForumPress book
"A solid case study with implications well beyond strawberry fields."—April Linton, Contemporary Sociology

"[Provides] detailed history of how the UFW has changed over time, as well as a comprehensive analysis of the more recent struggles this organization has faced in the fields and the courtroom.... Students and academics alike will find this book to be quite compelling."—Julie C. Keller, Rural Sociology

"Beautifully and meticulously chronicles an important campaign—not only to try to understand the ways in which it succeeded and failed, but also to mine it for broader lessons."—Hector Delgado, University of La Verne 


Gilbert Mireles explores the legendary United Farm Workers' campaign to organize laborers—predominantly Latino immigrants—in California's strawberry industry.

Tracing the UFW's actions from the picking fields to the world of government offices and corporate boardrooms, Mireles shows how the very traits that made the union such a successful advocate for farm workers also inhibited the meaningful participation of those same workers in the union. His systematic analysis of one of the most influential social movements in the country points to troubling implications for the place of immigrants—and the role of civil society and participatory democracy—in US society.


Gilbert Felipe Mireles is associate professor of sociology at Whitman College.


  • The United Farm Workers.
  • The Drive to Organize.
  • The Strawberry Industry Campaign.
  • Immigrant Networks.
  • Institutional Inclusion and the Organization of Dissent.
  • The Triumph of Effective Bureaucracy.
  • Contexts for Success and Failure.
  • Incorporating Immigrants into an Organization Society.
  • Appendixes.