Malignant emotions: Indigenous perceptions of environmental, social and bodily dangers in Mexico
AuthorCartwright, Elizabeth, 1959-
Health Sciences, Occupational Health and Safety.
Health Sciences, Public Health.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in San Pedro Amuzgos, Oaxaca and on La Coasta Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. In it I trace the movements of migrant farmworkers who come from southern Mexico to work in the grape fields of Sonora. Within that context of movement and change, I focus on understanding how illnesses are perceived and how they are healed. First I explore this issue, in depth, in their homeplace in rural Oaxaca. I follow specific illness events among residents of Amuzgos and I allow individuals actions and their reflections on those actions act as a corrective to static notions of the "Latino Folk Illnesses" that exemplify the way in which residents of this small village conceptualize their bodily problems. Local understandings of illnesses are embedded in the village as a specific Place where the topography of the village is inhabited by dangerous spirits that cause health problems for the Amuzgos. To heal, is to heal the Place where negative things occurred as well as the bodies that manifest negative symptoms. Following the Amuzgos up to the fields of Sonora, I focus on how the changing environmental context influences their perceptions of the sources of illnesses and the ways in which they treat them. In particular, I focus on the ways in which they conceptualize the health problems that arise from exposures to the pesticides that are ubiquitous in the fields and camps where they live and work.
Degree ProgramGraduate College