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MSL reading Slaughter house

2 pages103 viewsFall 2010

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA01H3
Professor
Mc Kinon

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At A Slaughterhouse Some Things Never Die
Charlie LeDuff
Employers at the Smithfield slaughterhouse, effectively use racist strategies, such as enforcing a racial
hierarchy within workers and exploiting racial tensions amongst then to maintain an economic
advantage and social control
SEGREGATED GROUPS
- At work racial groups are segregated by employers, employees are then segregated by choice in their
communities, at the lunchroom and away from work.
Blacks: Do the Dirty Jobs, Work the kill floor
Mexicans: Do the Dirty Jobs, work the cut floor
Whites: Mostly are mechanics and supervisors, Do clean Jobs
American Indians: Are Supervisors, Do clean Jobs
Their jobs rely on each other, when one group is working too slow it slows down the whole process and
angers other groups. Blacks kill the animals first, Mexicans cut them, and packaging is a cleaner job, all
the while groups are being supervised by whites. This increases racial tension.
Stereotypes are also at large at the plants
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Mercedes:
x A Mexican who works the plant with her husband
x She is an illegal immigrant as are most of the Mexican workers
x She was smuggled into the country, she wants to make enough money to take care of her family
back home before returning there
o Note: illegal Mexicans are often the targets for robberies committed by other
impoverished groups, especially blacks
White Convict, Billy Hardwood:
x Feels cheated that he has to work the cut floor with Mexicans
x Feels he is worth more than the Mexicans and that whites should help each other out
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North Carolina, Robeson County
x Always filled with an uneasy racial mix
x 40% Indian, 35% white, 25% Black
x In the 1990s after much uprising, more equality is visible within racial groups, and racial tension
begins to decrease w
However, in 1990s up to a thousand Mexicans arrive in the town
x They sort of set back the progress made by blacks and reds
x As they arrive racial tensions increase again
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