Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Sociology


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

John J. Green

Second Advisor

James M. Thomas

Third Advisor

Kirsten Dellinger

Relational Format



From production to sale, farm operations thrive on the demanding work of farm labor. However, social research on agriculture does not give adequate attention to issues of labor and work. Through participant observation, interviews, and content analysis, I analyze work from multiple perspectives within Mississippi agriculture. I focus on individuals involved in produce farming in two communities located in Northwest and Southeast Mississippi. I apply the boundary work theoretical framework to my findings, which reveals the complexities of the agriculture sector in Mississippi and illuminates the ways in which individuals not only define themselves but the work they do and the sector at large. The findings from this study expand on Michèle Lamont’s studies by addressing the symbolic and social boundaries of local organizations and federal institutions and the ways these boundaries both constrain and enable farmers.

Included in

Sociology Commons



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