Fresh Fruits, Broken Bodies: A Literary Analysis

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People in America are encouraged to become healthier by exercising, following a balanced diet, and assuming healthy habits. Unfortunately, most Americans cannot live a healthy lifestyle because their socioeconomic status limits their choices. The United States economic system functions as a hierarchy, where 1% of the population are more affluent than the rest (CNN). The economic gap makes it harder for the rest of the population to afford healthy behaviors. 15.1 percent of Americans fall below the poverty level, due to the economic disparity in America (State). These individuals are more susceptible to intoxicating environments because their communities lack accessibility to supermarkets, jobs, businesses, health centers, and security. The…show more content…
In Fresh Fruits, Broken Bodies, Seth Holmes defines structural violence as “Social inequalities and hierarchies, often along social categories of class, race, gender and sexuality” (Holmes, 89). Holmes expresses that minorities are stigmatized and suppress based on their ethnic background. According to Holmes, “Nationwide, migrant farmworkers are sicker than other groups… these health disparities fall along citizenship, ethnicity, and class lines [81 percent of these workers are immigrants, 95 percent Mexican] and 52 percent of whom are undocumented” (Holmes, 99). The structural violence of America’s oppressing social structure becomes embodied in form of sickness. Unfortunately, the subordination of Immigrants’ race mostly allows them to be employed for manual labor. Regardless of their health status, migrant farmworkers face many obstacles to access health services (Holmes, 102). In the Effect of Race and Sex on Physicians Recommendations for Cardiac Catheterization, Kevin Shulman indicates that race is an influential factor in the interaction between doctors and patients. Shulman says that “race and sex of the patient [are] significantly associated with physician’s decisions about whether to make referrals for cardiac catheterization” (Shulman,526). The excerpted quote demonstrates the effects of racial segregation in health institutions. The experience of institutional racism creates an internalized fear that prevents Immigrants and African Americans from seeking medical
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