Fresh Fruit Broken Bodies Analysis

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Seth Holmes’s ethnographic analysis of migrant workers in his book Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies, highlights various distinct pressing issues surrounding the topic of immigration and the conditions in which migrant workers confront in the United States. Holmes’s writing frames several ways in which migrant workers experience structural and symbolic violence through their labor work in the agricultural sector. In Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies these various issues are followed through the narratives of select migrant Triqui workers who have come to the United States for work. Holmes follows the stories of the Triqui workers as they migrate from Oaxaca to Washington and California for work. The intersection between economics and politics at a structural level and racism and …show more content…
The concepts of structural violence and symbolic violence will be employed to better understand the full scope of a complex subject such as immigration. When looking at the larger economic system in effect, the U.S agricultural sector set a stage for many of the conditions felt on the farms where these Triqui migrant workers work. For example, the use of subsidies in farming has drastically affected the way in which work is done on the field. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) reshaped how agriculture and trade is done between the United States and Mexico. In the case of the corn crop, “the U.S government was allowed to increase corn subsidies year after year, effectively enacting an inverse tariff against Mexican corn” (Holmes 2013: 45). This means that for American farmers, it is profitable to grown corn and, as a result, has encouraged “…large corporate agribusiness” and devalued indigenous Mexican corn (Holmes 2013:170). What once was an economic means for Mexico, has no longer become profitable. This economic situation encourages indigenous farmworkers to seek employment elsewhere