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Book
Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farm Workers in the United States
(2013)
  • Seth M. Holmes, PhD, MD, University of California - Berkeley
Abstract

This book is an ethnographic witness to the everyday lives and suffering of Mexican migrants. Based on 5 years of research in the field (including berry-picking and traveling with migrants back and forth from Oaxaca up the West Coast), Holmes, an anthropologist and MD in the mold of Paul Farmer and Didier Fassin, uncovers how market forces, anti-immigrant sentiment, and racism undermine health and health care. Holmes’ material is visceral and powerful—for instance, he trekked with his informants illegally through the desert border into Arizona, where they were apprehended and jailed by the Border Patrol. After he was released from jail (and his companions were deported back to Mexico), Holmes interviewed Border Patrol agents, local residents and armed vigilantes in the borderlands. He lived with indigenous Mexican families in the mountains of Oaxaca and in farm labor camps in the United States, planted and harvested corn, picked strawberries, accompanied sick workers to clinics and hospitals, participated in healing rituals, and mourned at funerals for friends. The result is a ‘thick description’ that conveys the full measure of struggle, suffering and resilience of these farmworkers.

Publication Date
2013
Publisher
University of California Press
Series
California Series in Public Anthropology
ISBN
9780520275140
Citation Information
Seth M. Holmes. Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farm Workers in the United States. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London(2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/holmes/17/