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"Oaxacans Like to Work Bent Over": The Naturalization of Social Suffering among Farm Workers

Author: Holmes, Seth M.
Date Published: 2007

This paper utilizes over fifteen months of anthropological fieldwork with undocumented, Triqui migrant laborers from the Mexican state of Oaxaca to analyze the structure of labor on a berry farm in Washington State. Broadly, it explores ethnographically the ethnic, citizenship, labor, and suffering hierarchies in U.S. agriculture as well as the processes by which these become naturalized. Meanwhile, health professionals in the local migrant clinic tend not to see the social determinants of suffering and, utilizing behavioral health conceptions, blame the patients for their social suffering.

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Number of Pages: 40