Vecchi e nuovi mediatori. Storia, geografia ed etnografia del caporalato in agricoltura

Autore: Domenico Perrotta
In: Meridiana. 79, 2014
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Old Brokers, New Brokers. History, Geography, and Ethnography of the Caporalato in Agriculture
The caporalato is an illegal system of intermediation of labour, widespread in the agriculture of Southern Italy since the beginning of twentieth century. Over the last 25 years, caporali of non-Italian origin have replaced a great number of their Italian «colleagues»; in August 2011, this form of intermediation has been declared a criminal offense by the Italian government. This article aims to contribute to the understanding of the caporalato from an historical, geographical, and sociological point of view. In the first part of the article, I trace the history of the caporalato in the Italian agriculture. In the second part, I depict similar kinds of brokers such as farm labor contractors in the US and gangmasters in the UK; moreover, I describe other instruments for the recruitment of agricultural workforce presently used in the European Union, in particular governmental programs for seasonal workers and private temporary employment agencies. In the last part of the article, I discuss some data collected with ethnographic methodologies in Puglia and Basilicata (Southern Italy); in particular, four organizations of caporalato and five dispositions held by farmworkers towards their caporali are described and analyzed. Keywords: gangmaster system, Southern Italy, migration, agriculture
Parole chiave: caporalato, Mezzogiorno, migrazione, agricoltura