Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Sociology and Criminal Justice

Advisor

Lori Holyfield

Committee Member

Anna Zajicek

Second Committee Member

Steven Worden

Keywords

Social sciences, Immigration, Labor, Narrative, Narrative Identity

Abstract

This research includes in-depth interviews and participant observation to examine the construction of narrative identity by the staff members and worker-members of a workers' rights organization in Northwest Arkansas. I seek to understand how the organization negotiates the broader cultural and institutional narrative identities with the personal narrative identities of the worker-members in a cultural context hostile toward undocumented immigrants. Further, I examine how the worker-members themselves both internalize and challenge the organizational, institutional, and cultural narratives about undocumented immigrant workers. Findings reveal that the staff members and the worker-members create different narratives for different purposes, though both are concerned with the uplift of the undocumented immigrant worker. Suggestions for future research are provided.