Archive

Posts Tagged ‘public anthropology’

Anthropology Afflicting the Comfortable: A Review of Seth Holmes’s “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies” – Rachel Stonecipher

March 17, 2014 1 comment

Rachel Stonecipher

Having cut my teeth in anthropology while living in the state of Texas, I am accustomed to trying to explain what, exactly, this discipline is. At Thanksgiving, distant family members ask me whether I have anything interesting to tell them about the dinosaurs. When I correct them and confess that I neither dig up artifacts (certainly not T-Rex) nor analyze crime scenes, but rather practice “cultural” anthropology, I watch their shoulders sink and eyes wander away.

Seth Holmes’ book Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies[1] is here to change that, and in the best of directions. In a tight 200 pages, Holmes lays out a call to action for social scientists, practicing physicians, and average readers to identify and combat the structural violence perpetrated against migrant farmworkers. By accompanying his companions as they migrate, work, and seek health care, Holmes sheds light on the “ethnicity-citizenship hierarchy” that shapes the health outcomes of indigenous Triqui migrant workers on a farm in the Skagit Valley of Washington state. His goal is to perform a “critical and reflexively embodied anthropology” that will “confront the ways in which certain classes of people come to be written off or deemed less human” (40-44). The idea of reflexive embodiment is to think about one’s own ways of sensing the world – such as feeling pain, love, or success – in critical comparison to how others sensorially experience. Holmes is on a trail parallel to the recent ethnographic movement, led by Sarah Willen,[2] to interrogate the social inequality (re)produced when undocumented migrants come to embody their abject status. However, as I argue below, his approach is more akin to discourse analysis than Willen’s “critical phenomenology,” though it would be strengthened by more of the latter. Read more…

Advertisements

How Can Medical Anthropologists Contribute to Contemporary Conversations on “Illegal” Im/migration and Health?

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

How can medical anthropologists contribute to contemporary conversations on “illegal” im/migration and health?

Click below to read a newly published commentary in Medical Anthropology Quarterly in which three of AccessDenied’s founders consider precisely this question.[1] We invite your comments and reactions below, and we hope the piece will encourage additional scholars, clinicians, public health professionals, migrant activists, and others to join our conversation here at AccessDenied as readers and/or contributors.

Take a Stand Commentary: How Can Medical Anthropologists Contribute to Contemporary Conversations on “Illegal” Im/migration and Health? Medical Anthropology Quarterly Sarah S. Willen, Jessica Mulligan, Heide Castañeda. Vol. 25, Issue 3, pp. 331–356.

ABSTRACT: Of the estimated 214 million people who have migrated from poorer to richer countries in search of a better life, between 20 and 30 million have migrated on an unauthorized, or “illegal,” basis. All have health needs, or will in the future, yet most are denied health care available to citizens and authorized residents. To many, unauthorized im/migrants’ exclusion intuitively “makes sense.” As scholars of health, social justice, and human rights, we find this logic deeply flawed and are committed to advancing a constructive program of engaged critique. In this commentary, we call on medical anthropologists to claim an active role in reframing scholarly and public debate about this pressing global health issue. We outline four key theoretical issues and five action steps that will help us sharpen our research agenda and translate ourselves for colleagues in partner disciplines and for broader audiences engaged in policymaking, politics, public health, and clinical practice. [unauthorized im/migration, “illegality,” social determinants of health, “deservingness,” public anthropology]


[1] If you do not have online journal access via a personal subscription or academic institution, please email us at contactaccessdenied@gmail.com. To subscribe to AccessDenied, please enter your email address under “Email Subscription” on our homepage. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, please contact us via email.