The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The Social Science Research Council (Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Women and Gender in Global Perspectives program, Graduate College, and the Department of Geography and GIS) supported this research. Portland State University (College of Urban and Public Affairs) supported the open access publication of this article.
Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space
Internal migration -- India, Labor mobility, Economic geography, Human geography, Sugarcane -- Harvesting -- India
In this paper, I explain the role of labor intermediaries in the weaving of capital–labor relations in capitalist agro-business. I do so by focusing on migration infrastructure or the vertical network of labor intermediaries who facilitate labor recruitment from migrant home villages and migrant labor disciplining on cane fields in rural western India, where the laborers are brought seasonally to harvest sugarcane. I show how the role of labor intermediaries cannot be understood by containing them within the villainous stereotypes associated with brokers. Intermediaries are embedded within the labor geographies of commodity production where capital accumulation requires the downward transferring of the risk of financial loss from capitalist agro-business to intermediaries and laborers. I collected data for this research by conducting interviews and focusgroup discussions in the Yavatmal and Kolhapur districts of Maharashtra state in rural western India during summer 2014 and 2015–2016.
Rai, P. (2020). The geographies of intermediation: Labor intermediaries, labor migration, and cane harvesting in rural western India. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X20903728