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Fresh Fruit Broken Bodies Analysis

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Perhaps the greatest benefit of anthropological fieldwork is that it challenges the ethnographer to, as the age-old idiom would put it, walk a mile in the shoes of another. In 2004, anthropologist and physician Dr. Seth Holmes made the life-changing decision to join a group of Triqui migrants in walking, crawling, and sprinting across the miles and miles of desert along the US-Mexican border, recording this dangerous trek in the riveting introduction to his ethnography Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies (Holmes 10). This book brings to light the true nature of Triqui migrant workers on the West Coast through the examination of their “everyday joys and suffering” captured in a series of vignettes and interviews set on a farm in the Skagit Valley of Washington State (27). In order to provide a greater context and framework for understanding these experiences, Holmes presents the concepts of structural violence - the physical suffering endured by participants in the system - and symbolic violence - the process by which this suffering is naturalized (Holmes 44). Holmes’s ethnography demonstrates how Triqui migrant farmworkers are caught in a system of structural and symbolic violence that reproduces itself: a cycle that can and must be ended. An overview of the book’s themes must begin with the historical and political context surrounding the Triqui migrant farm workers and their hometown of Oaxaca, Mexico. The Triqui are an indigenous ethnic group with their own unique language and
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