Kids at Work

Kids at Work

Latinx Families Selling Food on the Streets of Los Angeles

Latina/o Sociology

by Emir Estrada

Published by: NYU Press

224 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 16 black and white illustrations

  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781479873708
  • Published: July 2019


  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9781479811519
  • Published: July 2019



How Latinx kids and their undocumented parents struggle in the informal street food economy

Street food markets have become wildly popular in Los Angeles—and behind the scenes, Latinx children have been instrumental in making these small informal businesses grow. In Kids at Work, Emir Estrada shines a light on the surprising labor of these young workers, providing the first ethnography on the participation of Latinx children in street vending.

Drawing on dozens of interviews with children and their undocumented parents, as well as three years spent on the streets shadowing families at work, Estrada brings attention to the unique set of hardships Latinx youth experience in this occupation. She also highlights how these hardships can serve to cement family bonds, develop empathy towards parents, encourage hard work, and support children—and their parents—in their efforts to make a living together in the United States. Kids at Work provides a compassionate, up-close portrait of Latinx children, detailing the complexities and nuances of family relations when children help generate income for the household as they peddle the streets of LA alongside their immigrant parents.