Etnografia del lavoro a giornata nelle serre siciliane/Work bodies. Ethnography of day labor in Sicilian greenhouses

Valeria Piro, Giuliana Sanò


This paper analyses the results of an ethnographic research conducted among migrant farmworkers employed inside greenhouses in South Eastern Sicily. In particular, it deals with the body considered at the same time as the object and the tool of the fieldwork research. By focussing on their experience of participant observation as tomato pickers, the authors reflect upon the positioning of their bodies inside the field and describe the negotiation of their femininities into a male workplace. Moreover, the article focuses on the effects produced on the workers’ bodies by day labour as well as on the embodied forms of adaptation and resistance. It explores the narrations of mental and physical disease and the different practices of “embellishment” of male and female workers as a body response to a degrading job.


Keywords: Migrant Labour; Agriculture; Body; Sicily.

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