Edna Bonacich Ethnic Studies Graduate Award Endowed Fund


Ethnic Studies Dept D01027


Graduate Student Support

Eff. 04/04/2020: The fund shall be used to provide fellowship assistance for new or continuing students in UC Riverside's Ethnic Studies doctoral program. Award shall recongnize excellence or promise in the field.

History and Purpose:

Edna Bonacich searches for new understanding in our Ethnic Studies of society. Edna Bonacich is Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of many books including Global Production: The Apparel Industry in the Pacific Rim (1994) and her latest book entitled Behind the Label.

In one study published in Behind the Label, Bonacich provides us with information crucial to our understanding of American social inequality; Edna Bonacich investigated the return of sweatshops to the apparel industry, especially in Los Angeles. The "new" sweatshops, they say, need to be understood in terms of the decline in the American welfare state and its strong unions and the rise in global and flexible production. Apparel manufacturers now have the incentive to move production to wherever low-wage labor can be found, while maintaining arm's-length contractual relations that protect them from responsibility. The flight of the industry has led to a huge rise in apparel imports to the United States and to a decline in employment.

Los Angeles, however, remains a puzzling exception in that its industry employment has continued to grow, to the point where L.A. is the largest center of apparel production in the nation. Not only the availability of low-wage immigrant (often undocumented) workers but also the focus on moderately priced, fashion-sensitive women's wear makes this possible. Behind the Label examines the players in the L.A. apparel industry, including manufacturers, retailers, contractors, and workers, evaluating the misdistribution of wealth and power. Bonacich explored the government and union efforts necessary to eradicate sweatshops while limiting the flight to Mexico and elsewhere, and they conclude with a description of the growing anti sweatshop movement.

Edna Bonacich initiated a fund to establish a Graduate Award in the Ethnic studies doctoral program. The name of the fund shall be the Edna Bonacich Ethnic Studies Graduate Award Fund.

This fund shall be used to provide fellowship assistance for new or continuing students in UC Riverside's Ethnic Studies doctoral program who have demonstrated a commitment to the promotion of equity in the workplace.

Selection and Guidelines:

Applicants must submit to the Department a letter of application, resume and two letters of recommendation.

The Selection Committee will consist of the Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies and two other members to be named by the Chair. When possible, Edna Bonacich or a member of the Bonacich family, will be involved in the process of screening potential award recipients.

Request for Information: