Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic


  • Jennifer Burrell
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_482

Maquiladoras are factories or export assembly plants, usually foreign-owned. They are generally contracted by transnational corporations (TNCs) to conduct the final stage of a production process, often assembling and packaging products for export. TNCs provide maquiladoras with materials, including preassembled cloth, electronic components, and chemicals. Maquiladora employees finish or semi-finish products. One hundred percent of maquiladora products are then exported back to TNCs. TNCs import machinery and materials duty-free and export finished products around the world.

In the past 40 years, maquiladoras have taken root on the northern and southern sides of the USA–Mexico border and throughout Latin America, although they also exist in other parts of the world where cheap labor is plentiful. As centers of production in what is referred to as the global factory system, maquiladora workers now provide a significant share of the world’s industrial labor. Some 60–80% of maquiladora...

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Suggested Readings

  1. American Medical Association, Council on Scientific Affairs. (1990). Conditions on the US-Mexican Border? June.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, G. (Ed.). (2005). Newsletter, 9(2). Berkeley, CA: Maquiladora Health and Safety Support Network.Google Scholar
  3. Grunwald, J., & Flamm, K. (1985). The global factory: Foreign assembly in international trade. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute.Google Scholar
  4. Malkin, E. (2005). Mexican labor case grows for makers of Barbie gowns. New York Times, June 12.Google Scholar
  5. Portillo, L. (2001). Señorita Extraviada/Missing Young Women. Xochitl Films.Google Scholar
  6. Salzinger, L. (2003). Genders in production: Making workers in Mexico’s global factories. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Comite Fronterizo de Obreros. http://cfomaquiladoras.org/
  2. Maquiladora Health and Safety Support Network. http://mhssn.igc.org/
  3. Maquilapolis. (2006). A film by Vicky Funari and Sergio de la Torre, and a community outreach project. http://www.maquilapolis.com/outreach_eng.html

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Burrell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity at Albany, The State University of New York (SUNY)AlbanyUSA