Anthropology: Fresh Fruit Broken Bodies

Anthropology: Fresh Fruit Broken Bodies

Introduction
Immigrants are from Oaxaca Mexico focusing on Triqui people. The author focuses on watching how the poor suffer. Work in migrant farms in Washington (strawberries and blueberries), California (asparagus)
main themes
embodied anthropology, migrant farm roles in society, economic policies, discrimination, social hierarchies, survival, subjectivity vs. Objectivity, structural violence: structure of economy, politics class; symbolic violence: how do they form of categorizing become natural (stereotypes and naturalizing a system of oppression)
No work in Oaxaca ( have to immigrate to America, no other choice to survive)
Chapter 2: “we are field workers”
Migration is intimately related to other modern problems: neoliberal market policies, increasing global inequalities, decentralized warfare
Structural violence: violence committed by configurations that have socially injurious effects on bodies
Observe through embodied anthropology- participant observation
Ethnic Hierarchies (pages 45-51, 78-87)
Poor living conditions: shacks the workers lived in were hidden from public view
Discrimination: how the ethnographer being white, was able to keep his job and shake even when he couldn’t pick the minimum, and the farm executives would make jokes with him and sometimes even help fill his basket
Wage- payed less than minimum wage
Conjugated oppression: laborers were denied respect and deprived of physical and mental health
Sexism: women never promoted, riqui women are less likely to leave the home to work, denied opportunity to practice their English in united states
Chapter 5: “Doctors don’t know anything”
Immigrants when seeing a doctor were usually:
Dehumanized
Physicians focusing on isolated body part ignoring their social and personal realities
Patient objectification (doctors are better)
Blame the patient for their suffering
aims of chapter 5:
demonstrate the ‘minimal’ rapport between doctors of san Miguel and the residents. What is wrong with the doctor-patient relationship?, explore the structural factor affecting migrant, anthropologists: Arthur Kleinman; explanatory model and illness narratives. Paul Farmer: structural violence, biomedical resources should be distributed more equally; Michel Foucault: “the medical gaze”, what is the matter with you? replaced with where does it hurt?
Body as object: physicians focus on “isolated, diseased organs, treating the patient increasingly as body, and ignoring the social and personal realities of the patient, the person; patient is rendered silent while doctors discuss d”diseases”, “sees through the patient”
Medical training: experience of objectification and dehumanization of the patient and physician, medical student presentation training: “transforms patients and their human, social,and bodily reality into generalized cases of a medical disease that as the same time protect the students from uncertainty (pg 116).
doctor to doctor; I-thou versus we-you
Abelino
Abelino
medical history is not explored, doctors evalution place blame or injury on Abelino, farmers does not assign work that might facilitate healing, no translator, compensation, process of erasure the objective outcomes become the permanent record of the medical gaze
Chapter 4: “how the poor suffer”
Physical side effects of labor: stomach, knee, neck, and back pain (structural violence of social hierarchies seen through suffering and sickness)
Discriminatory international policies and harsh conditions of traveling (financial difference)
Constant stress in border and work, worry about making ends meet
Aims: demonstrate the “violence continuum” through the presentation vignettes of suffering in the context of migrant farm work, present concrete examples of different form of violence: structural, symbolic, direct political/physical, everyday.., render different forms of violence “visible” through ethnographic fieldwork and ethnography
Physical and social suffering: “allostatic load”- accumulation of health risks associated with chronic stress- wear and tear on the body- “due to traumatic experiences crossing the border and fear of deportation” and of course, work conditions
Migrant workers have an increased risk of: musculoskeletal pain, heart disease, cancer, stillbirth, hypertension, sterility, blood disorders, dental; problems, disorders in kidney function, pulmonary problems’
Lation paradox: research indicating the the U.S. “latino population” fares better in regard to many health concerns despite their overall lower socio-economic status in the US (migrant workers not always included in these statistics)
Abelino
example of “structural violence”, discriminatory international policies in addition to farm hierarchy, not only the work itself, but also the ongoing movement, and the violence passed on to the children
Crescencio
“symbolic violence”, continually insulted and pressured by his “superiors” resulting in chronic headaches, drink alcohol excessively to self-medicate and relieve the pain, drunkenness becomes an indicator of inferiority and legitimizes social hierarchy
Bernardo
“political-direct violence”, international policies structure the Mexican state’s interactions with indigenous groups, political parties in competition, and land rights, colonialism, and fear of the “other”
Frontline reports “rape in the fields”
Women are sex objects in field
Bill Tamayo specializes in this type of work
Women are vulnerable because don’t know laws, dont know english, need to keep their job (economically dependent), culturally and geographically isolated
Examples Harris Farms (victim held at gunpoint, abused three times, first case to go to trial in 2002), Evan Fruit (Juan Marin was auser, Angela Mendoza spoke out when her fiteen year old daughter was constantly harassed by Juan, 26 women spoke out about him, he denied charges in trial- no punishment), Decoster Egg processing plant (horrendous working conditions, when border patrol was near plant workers would be locked in rooms, animal cruelty, women would disappear)
No physical evidence but more women come up to talk about it, even if jury agrees the abuser is guilty, usually not given any jail time or real punishment, victims are just given money as compensation
U-visas: help women stay in country if abused and defended through rights
Immigrants seen as victims because they were abused or criminals because they are not citizens?
“Money doesn’t give you self-worth as a women, justice does”
Mothers love “death without weeping”
Aims: In regard to child mortality: demonstrate how a other’s “love” toward a child is influenced by the social, political, and economic world in which they are immersed? Explore how women’s and community members cope with the high rate of infant mortality?
Mortal elective neglect: learning when to let oneself love a child, emotional vicissitudes: mothers do not feel “guilt” or “regret” in letting infants die- delayed emotional attachment, deaths come to be seen as fated and inevitable, recognizing acute causes versus chronic causes and choosing appropriate courses of action
Notions of personhood: coming to understand infants as “not having feeling” or as not a full person yet women are slow to “anthropomorphize” and “personalize their infants
The church: understand infants as destined for heaven. One should not disrupt an infant’s route to heaven by performing grief publicly. Baptisms are delayed by local priests: funeral processions are short and rituals simple
State and government: deaths are registered without question regarding the cause, anyone can register for death, vouchers are given for coffins
Hospitals and medical resources: aliments are misdiagnosed, sedatives and tranquilizers are given to promote deaths, midwives become important
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