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Inland ShiftRace, Space, and Capital in Southern California$
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Juan D. De Lara

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520289581

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520289581.001.0001

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Contesting Contingency

Contesting Contingency

(p.90) Six Contesting Contingency
Inland Shift

Juan D. De Lara

University of California Press

Chapter 6 provides an overview and critical analysis of the Warehouse Workers United organizing campaign to show how labor and immigrant social-movement organizations crafted spatial narratives that connected global logistics to regional struggles for racial and economic justice. The ensuing struggle over port development illustrates the important role that competing cognitive mappings can play in actively shaping how space is contested, defined, and produced. Logistics and warehouse work give us a chance to see how workers challenged the dehumanizing nature of capitalist space by producing regional counter-narratives. These counter-narratives illustrate one way that social movements organize against hegemonic development norms. Struggles over the production of space often involve multiple spatial layers. Recounting everyday moments and learning to frame them within an economy of power was a key part of the organizing process. These alternative mappings challenged the dehumanizing relationships of warehouse work, because they created spaces for workers to imagine that another world was possible.

Keywords:   social movements, labor, precarity, temporary workers, immigrants, capitalism, framing, counter-narratives

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