Essay Sample on Culture Amongst Migrant Workers

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1190 Words
Date:  2022-10-27


Since the 19th century, migrant workers have had their equal share on violation of their human rights. We do not expect to come across this in the USA which is among the most developed country in the world, but it is unfortunate to say that migrant workers are oppressed all over the globe. We live in changing times, and everything around us seems to be different with each century that comes to pass but will it ever be different amongst the migrant farmers? In the agricultural fields is where we find most of these harsh living conditions of the workers despite the determination they dedicate in their work fields. Culture in the modern economic development has had its fair share in trying to change the living conditions of migrant workers through the fair food program.

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The fair food program is the collaboration amongst farm workers and retail stores to help advance farmworkers' working environments and condition in the USA. As I watched the 2014 documentary on food chains by Sanjay, I couldn't help but wonder how culture is not embraced in US agricultural farms. Living conditions amongst Florida farmworkers are very unconducive as they live in full rooms accommodating six people in one place. Distances covered each morning to ensure kids are safe in their babysitter's homes is also a problem with no means of transport to access them easily. In the work fields, it gets worse as they toil under the scorching sun and pollutions caused by machines spraying insecticides fill the air, risking their health since there are not given protective working garments. The fair food program also trains workers on the right way to air out complains and to help in bettering their working conditions. This program educates farmers on their human rights and the process to follow in cases of sexual assault. Humanity has always been at a risk when we talk about harsh conditions. Subjecting workers to sex slavery before offering them jobs, underpaying them, overworking them and harassing workers are the main reasons behind the fair food program initiative.

The anthropologist, Seth Holmes, says that Mexicans in the US having bad jobs subjecting them to harmful health conditions seems like the new normal in our contemporary economy. He, therefore, decides to focus his writing on trying to understand how a specific group of people is considered to be the unfortunate in life with the regrettable jobs. The Mexican migrants especially, tend to be the most venerable group in today's society. Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies is a representation of attitudes and purpose, it is also an ethnographic portrayal of migrant workers and the kind of life they live. It is also considered to be a view on how to conduct anthropological field research by global migration and mobility; it connects scrutiny of real viciousness towards the objective of modifying policies and realities. (Holmes, p.29) Hopes that people are having an overview of these inhumanities will help them understand the contrivances through which certain groups of persons turn out to be inscribed off, and social imbalances took for granted. Humanity is therefore required to participate in the destruction of these very contrivances and the arrangements of which they are apart.

In the 18th and 19th century, a lot of immigrants approached the United States leaving behind their respective cultures in the name of transforming America. These foreigners provided labor for the great industrialization that made American what it has become. Culture defines a community- these migrants' dialects and alphabets were unfamiliar, and they were culturally and anthropologically dissimilar from the Americans. In most scenarios, their religious, cultural, and political upbringings varied considerably, and it was difficult to blend in on their side. Americans on the hand failed to embrace and accept them as fellow countrymen and women due to their cultural distinctiveness. This has always been the case hence explaining why these migrants are still the ones subjected to those harsh living conditions in a country they helped build.

Culture units us as a community but when we have different believes and language barriers it becomes difficult to relate, but with the help of cultural universals, it is growing easier each day for the migrants to adapt living in the United States. Sharing at least one thing in common will give you a sense of belonging despite the many indifferences shared. It is essential to come up with a culture that unites citizens and migrants to put an end to these acts of harassments and inhumanity subjected to them because they are different. Being different is unique, and it is what defines them as Mexicans, as Florida people. The fair food program is available to help curb all these problems and stands as an eye-opener to the American people that these migrants have a life outside the work environment.

Values are what culture defines as acceptable and unacceptable in a community. Values are firmly rooted and important in conveying and educating a culture's philosophies. Beliefs are the doctrines or views that one holds to be right. People within a community have precise beliefs, but they also share mutual values (Smedley, p.16). To show the difference, people from North American generally have confidence in that anyone who is determined to work hard enough will turn out prosperous and well-off. The principal of this belief is the value that wealth is virtuous and significant. Values and attitudes Americans showing migrants have changed with time. Initially, it was sporadic to see an American helping any refugee as they thought of them as curses. Today, giving them jobs in their farm and finally paying them has to be a vast improvement. It is not the best they can do, but we refer to it as improvements.

Changes are inevitable, and with the invention of technology, work handled by migrants have been simplified. Before technology came about, migrants dealt with all the risky and cumbersome jobs that were available and the employers did not at any point think it was unfair, or they could be affected health wise. The little education the fair food program is offering migrants' farm workers has come to be of much help to them. Sexually assaulting farm workers was previously not taken as anything serious, but try that today. They have learned that the court system exists and that they can air out their problems irrespective of their fear of losing the job.


In conclusion, let's hope that reading read Holmes' book will move people to mutual humanity, in such that illustrations of policies towards migrant laborers become more humane, and appreciate to laborers as people themselves. We need to live like a globalized society and embrace each other without oppressing the less fortunate. This step will significantly help in the economic growth of our county since culture is always evolving.

Works Cited

Holmes, Seth. Fresh fruit, broken bodies: Migrant farmworkers in the United States. Vol. 27. Univ of California Press, 2013.

Rawal, Sanjay. Movie Food Chain. 2014.

Smedley, Audrey, and Brian D. Smedley. "Race as biology is fiction, racism as a social problem is real: Anthropological and historical perspectives on the social construction of race." American Psychologist 60.1 (2005): 16.

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