Pea-pickers

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Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on Florence Owens Thompson, a mother of seven children, age 32, in Nipomo, California, March 1936.

A pea-picker is a derogatory reference to poor, migrant workers during the Great Depression. These people were unskilled, poorly educated workers, employable only in menial jobs, such as harvesting crops and, as such, received poor wages for working long hours under dreadful conditions. Some of these people were photographed by Dorothea Lange.

The term "pea picker" is used to distinguish a group as a lower social class from some other similar group, such as the "pea-picking" Smiths, as opposed to the "respectable" Smiths.

Temporary communities of pea-pickers are called pea picker camps and farms that employed them were pea-picker farms.

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