The article focuses upon migrant workers in Southern Italy’s agriculture. After a brief description of the general background, an analysis will be given of two key features: the state of seclusion in which the workers live, and the organization of recruitment and labour process through the caporalato (gangmaster system). Two case-studies will be compared, that of the "ghetto" of Boreano (Basilicata), which exemplifies the central role of seclusion and caporalato in the productive process of Southern Italy’s agriculture; and that of the reception centre at "Masseria Boncuri" in Nardò (Puglia), where the situation of segregation was broken, and a strike involved several hundred African farmworkers in August 2011. The analysis is based on material collected during qualitative research " in particular in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations of the homes, the labour process, and the struggles of foreign labourers - conducted in 2010, 2011, and 2012 in the two areas.
Keywords: Segregation, seclusion, African farmworkers, caporalato, gangmaster system, labour, Italy