Summary Of Seth Holmes Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies

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The unjustifiable sufferings of migrant farm workers in the United States These days, even though we are fighting strongly for human rights issues such as human trafficking, racial equality, asylum seekers and refugees, child abuse and LGBTQ rights, we have to admit that not everyone is equal. We worked hard to ensure that the people around us have the rights they deserved, but we are ignorant to the suffering of others. In his book Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States, Seth Holmes explores the lives of the Mexican workers who cross the border illegally to come to the U.S and provides an interesting idea on how “the fault lines of class, race, citizenship, gender, and sexuality” have shaped the experience of …show more content…
Structural violence is a form of violence that can be understood as social inequality, where the social structure disadvantages individuals (Holmes, 2012). Holmes makes an interesting comparison when he refers to the violence of “a stabbing or shooting” when mentioning the ultimate consequence of structural violence on the bodies (Holmes, 2012, p.43). Symbolic violence is another noteworthy concept introduced by Pierre Bourdieu, which basically functions through the perceptions of the “dominating” and “dominated” (Holmes, 2012, p.44). The concept indicates that we are seeing the world through the lenses that come from the exact same world. This results in the fact that sometimes we can misrecognize the social inequalities that exist, and think of them as normal. An example to illustrate the notion could be when the upper class thinks that they deserve what they have and they are powerful, while the lower class has to work hard to live on, and not deserve to have a well-paid job. As its name symbolic violence has suggested, this concept is very dangerous in the way that one group can produce a false image about the other group, and oftentimes those with more power can benefit from …show more content…
For example, the Mexican immigrants - or “the Mex” is characterized as “getting all that free stuff” - which implies that they come here solely for the welfare (Holmes, 2013, p. 159). However, Holmes also points out an interesting fact that none of the Mexican migrants that he knew ever received welfare (Holmes 2013, 159), which signifies that people are having an improper way of seeing others. Another example might be the stereotype of Mexican men as “alcoholic” and “machista” because of the headaches that they suffered as the result of structural violence (Holmes, 2013, p. 110). This again adds to the prejudice about the migrant farm workers, which leads to the process of normalization. This process, normalize the sufferings of other: they think of the harsh working conditions of the farm workers as normal, as how things work. People perceive and develop their minds thinking that the farm workers have only “berry picking jobs” because “they like to work bent over”, or “they’re short”, or even “they’re lower to the ground” - which makes them perfect for berry picking. Those false conceptions epitomized a racist idea toward people - no one is perfect for sufferings and hardship. It is enraging when Holmes lists some of the justifications for the ignorance of the residents of California. They just simply didn’t know anything

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