UCCNRS Presents "Conflicting Commitments: The Politics of Enforcing Immigrant Worker Rights in San Jose and Houston" with Dr. Shanon Gleeson, UC Santa Cruz

Event Date: 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 1:00pm

Event Location: 

  • North Hall 2206
  • Pellish Conference Room

Shannon Gleeson


uccnrs_logo_colorCMYKhttp://www.uccnrs.ucsb.edu • Phone (805) 893-4882
Spring 2013 Colloquium Series
The UCSB Center for New Racial Studies is sponsoring an informal series of talks to facilitate productive scholarly relationships between UCSB faculty, policymakers, community members, and students interested in research and teaching on race and ethnicity.  The series features scholarship from an array of methodological and epistemological traditions to provide a diverse perspective and encourage lively discussions, as well as interdisciplinary and collaborative work.  
Wednesday, April 24th, 1-2pm
North Hall 2206, Pellish Conference Room
1233480056-1Conflicting Commitments: The Politics of Enforcing Immigrant Worker Rights in San Jose and Houston
Shannon Gleeson, Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies (with an affiliation in Sociology), University of California-Santa Cruz
In this talk I examine how advocates are working to enforce the rights of Latino immigrant workers.  Much of the research on rights implementation tends to focus on the role of state actors and the importance of bureaucratic discretion in activating formal rights.  However, rather than view rights as self-propelled imperatives pre-determined solely by the law, my analysis highlights the complexity of the enforcement process and the variety of actors implicated in struggles for immigrant workers’ rights. My work hones in on the relationship between the federal and state labor standards enforcement apparatus, as well as local government actors, civic groups, and even consular representatives who play an especially important role in enforcing the rights of foreign nationals.  I draw on the experience of advocates in San Jose, CA and Houston, TX, two traditional immigrant destinations with radically different policy structures and political cultures for enforcing immigrant worker rights.  In particular, I emphasize the importance of strategic alliances in contexts where the usual suspects are absent or weak, and where alternative solutions become vital. 
Amber M. Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Scholar
Center for New Racial Studies

North Hall 1024