"We like them just fine": Racializing Hiring Practices and Japanese American Sawmill Labor in Western Washington, 1900 – 1930

Author(s): David R Carlson

Year: 2016

Summary

The populations of many of the sawmill towns scattered across Western Washington state in the early 20th century included a sizable minority of first generation Japanese Americans (Issei). These workers were attracted to the towns by a combination of (relatively) good pay, available work, and sociocultural amenities. But why were town managers willing to hire them? And how might their hiring practices have influenced and been influenced by the Issei themselves? This paper will argue that sawmill town managerial hiring practices were both racialized and racializing, and as such they contributed towards the racialization of the Issei. It will draw on secondary and primarily literature regarding managerial discourse—from sociological surveys, trade magazines, and company records to literature on company towns, union history, and Japanese American history—to demonstrate the racial character of these hiring practices. Finally, this paper will explore their archaeological implications.

Cite this Record

"We like them just fine": Racializing Hiring Practices and Japanese American Sawmill Labor in Western Washington, 1900 – 1930. David R Carlson. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434775)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 767