Newcomers in Workplace

Immigrants and the Restructuring of the U.S. Economy

Edited by Louise Lamphere, Guillermo J. Grenier, and Alex Stepick
Conrad Arensberg Award, American Anthropological Association, 1994
Book Cover

PB: $36.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-131-3
Publication: Jan 94

HC: $80.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-124-5
Publication: Jan 94

Ebook: $36.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0148-9
Publication: Jan 94

320 pages
6 x 9
5 tables, 11 figs., 10 halftones

Case studies capture the experiences, difficulties, and determination of immigrant workers


Newcomers in the Workplace documents and dramatizes the changing face of the American workplace, transformed in the 1980s by immigrant workers in all sectors. This collection of excellent ethnographies captures the stench of meatpacking plants, the clatter of sewing machines, the sweat of construction sites, and the strain of management-employee relations in hotels and grocery stores as immigrant workers carve out crucial roles in a struggling economy.

Case studies focus on three geographical regions—Philadelphia, Miami, and Garden City, Kansas—where the active workforce includes increasing numbers of Cubans, Haitians, Koreans, Puerto Ricans, Laotians, Vietnamese, and other new immigrants. The portraits show these newcomers reaching across ethnic boundaries in their determination to retain individualism and to insure their economic survival.


"Through close analysis of the changing workplace in three U.S. communities, these informative academic essays chart the variety of work experience for new immigrants."Publishers Weekly

Table of Contents

1. Introduction – Louise Lamphere, Guillermo Grenier, and Alex Stepick

Part I: Garden City
2. Beef Stew: Cattle, Immigrants, and Established Residents in a Kansas Beefpacking Town – Michael Broadway
3. Knock 'Em Dead: Work on the Killfloor of a Modern Beefpacking Plant – Donald D. Stull
4. Guys in White Hats: Short-Term Participant Observation among Beef-Processing Workers and Managers – Ken C. Erickson
5. The Effects of Packinghouse Work on Southeast Asian Refugee Families – Janet E. Benson Part II: Miami
6. Miami: Capital of Latin America – Alex Stepick
7. Brothers in Wood – Alex Stepick and Guillermo Grenier, with Steve Morris and Debbie Draznin
8. Grounding the Saturn Plant: Failed Restructuring in a Miami Apparel Plant – Guillermo Grenier and Alex Stepick, with Aline LaBorwit
9. The View from the Back of the House: Restaurants and Hotels in Miami – Alex Stepick and Guillermo Grenier, with Hafidh A. Hafidh, Sue Chaffee, and Debbie Draznin

Part III: Philadelphia
10. Polishing the Rustbelt: Immigrants Enter a Restructuring Philadelphia – Judith Goode
11. Facing Job Loss: Changing Relationships in a Multicultural urban Factor – Carole Cohen
12. Encounters Over the Counter: Bosses, Workers, and Customers on a Changing Shopping Strip – Judith Goode
13. Poverty and Politics: Practice and Ideology among Small Business Owners in an Urban Enterprise Zone – Cynthia Carter Ninivaggi

Contributors' Notes

About the Author(s)

Louise Lamphere teaches in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico.

Alex Stepick is Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Florida International University.

Guillermo Grenier is Director of the Center for Labor Research and Studies, and Chairman of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Florida International University.


In the Series

  • Labor and Social Change edited by Paula Rayman and Carmen Sirianni

    Labor and Social Change, edited by Paula Rayman and Carmen Sirianni, includes books on workplace issues like worker participation, quality of work life, shorter hours, technological change, and productivity, as well as union and community organizing and ethnographies of particular occupations.