Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Migration Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


Migration Studies

First Advisor

Brian Dowd-Uribe


The food sovereignty movement has come to encompass a wide-range of constituent groups, all with unique perspectives and interests. While some of these groups’ goals align naturally, others present priorities differently, namely organizations that advocate for farmworker justice and those that advocate for agrarian justice. Because of the power imbalance embedded in this relationship as well as the racist, patriarchal, and neoliberal nature of agrarian capitalism, it can be challenging to navigate an equitable path forward. In this thesis, I examine whether and how food sovereignty as a broader umbrella movement is generative towards building ties between advocates for farmworker justice and agrarian justice. I embark on a study that seeks to learn how activists articulate, forge common cause, and surmount tensions under a food sovereignty framework. Interviews with activists reveal that there is a common recognition of the organizing power and history of success of farmworker organizations as well as the oppressive grip of agricultural corporations. There is also a demonstrated desire to build solidarity networks with groups across the food system and beyond. Still, activists’ visions differ; some hope to reimagine the agricultural system, while others work within the confines of capitalism to ensure all workers’ needs are met. The paper concludes with perspectives on solidarity efforts to move towards a just food system.