Strawberry Fields by Miriam Wells

1187 Words5 Pages
There has been a long standing debate between the socio-economic theories of capitalism and socialism. The current socio-economic system is capitalism but many feel it is not ideal due to the fact that it is based on making a profit. On the other hand, socialism is based on equality of all, which is enacted by paying all workers the same amount of money regardless of occupation. Miriam J. Wells is against capitalism and holds a socialist view point. According to Wells, politics shape the advantages and disadvantages that certain groups of people hold. The government plays an immense role on how things are structured in the fields in order to make a profit based on capitalism. Wells’ argument of capitalism being an unjust system due to politics affecting the class structure and workforce through the Bracero program, enactment of the Alien Land Law, and the return to sharecropping is quite strong even though there is a weakness in her argument due to her straying from the topic at hand and not offering an argument for the capitalist side. Wells establishes her ethos in the beginning of the book in order to make her findings more reliable and trustworthy. Wells is an Anthropology professor at the University of California Davis. As a professor and a researcher she wants to be able to find out as much as she can and convey her findings without editing facts out or sugar coating anything. Wells states, “I spent well over a decade studying class relations in California’s central coast strawberry industry.” (Wells 1) This shows that Wells put her time into studying the strawberry fields and studying the people who worked in these fields. Also, Wells was not forced to spend many years studying the field, she chose to which enhances her cre... ... middle of paper ... ...he Bracero program affected many immigrants and also how the Alien Land Laws restricted other immigrants from succeeding and starting their own career. Wells also mentions how sharecropping was a system that both growers and workers preferred as it brought along with it better class relations and a sense of community. Even though Wells does have a flaw, it does not take away from her argument. I agree with Wells that capitalism is a system that’s goal is to make a profit and it ends up creating class tension. The upper class is continuously trying to find ways to make a profit and exploit the lower class if they have to. There should be a change in the system so that not one group is always at the top with all the advantages. Works Cited Wells, Miriam J. Strawberry Fields: Politics, Class, and Work in California Agriculture. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1996. Print.

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