Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies, By Seth Holmes Essay

1012 Words Dec 14th, 2016 5 Pages
Seth Holmes’ methodology as described in his book, Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies, was that of embodiment and participant observation. With this methodology, Holmes used his own body as an ethnographic tool to understand the situations into which he entered, including picking berries with the Triqui pickers on the Tanaka Farm in the Skagit Valley of Washington state. This gave him a distinct advantage, given that one of his goals was to understand the way farm labor affects the health of the Triqui people: it altered his perspective. This is evident in the way he wrote the ethnography; Holmes’ book included his own experiences in addition to those he witnessed and discussed with his companions. Having his own perspective on these experiences allowed Holmes to witness and describe how his body was treated differently from those of the Triqui. This altered perspective was an advantage to Holmes because it painted a clearer image of the way the mistreatment of the Triqui is perceived to be “normal”. Holmes’ use of the first person in his book is atypical for this type of work because it is typically perceived to be less objective, however, it lends itself well to this investigation because the only way for one to truly understand what it feels like to cross the border into Arizona or stoop over for hours to pick berries is to participate and experience these activities yourself. Holmes’ investigation focuses on the Triqui: an indigenous group of people from the mountains of…

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