Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Rivka Weinberg

Reader 2

Julie Tannenbaum

Reader 3

Susan Phillips

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Eva N Wertimer


This thesis explores the connections between philosophical and colloquial accounts of exploitation and the term's application to the United States agricultural industry. The first portion of this thesis examines the history of Mexican farm work in the U.S. in conjunction with trends in the firsthand accounts of farmworkers. By examining historical and current accounts of farmworker's experiences, I point towards their rampant mistreatment throughout the agricultural industry. In the philosophy portion of the thesis, I assess three different accounts of exploitation, to create my own definition, wherein I claim exploitation is always wrong. I then synthesis the two chapters, arguing that farmworkers are wrongfully exploited, and this exploitation cannot be justified through mutual gain.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.