The subprime crash of 2008 revealed a fragile, unjust, and unsustainable economy built on retail consumption, low-wage jobs, and fictitious capital. Finance and global commodity chains transformed Southern California’s Inland Empire just as Latinos and immigrants were turning California into a minority-majority state. In Inland Shift, Juan De Lara uses Southern California’s logistics growth regime to examine how modern capitalism was shaped by and helped to transform the region’s geographies of race and class. While logistics provided a roadmap for capital and the state to transform Southern California, it also created pockets of resistance among labor, community, and environmental groups who argued that commodity distribution exposed them to economic and environmental precarity.
Juan De Lara is Assistant Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity at USC and an Affiliate Researcher at its Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). His research interests include the working poor, social movements, urbanization, and social justice.