Undergraduate Honors Thesis


A Cultural and Epidemiological Study of Tuberculosis in Migrant Agricultural Workers Public Deposited

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  • This thesis examines how power structures influence the bodies and health of those within them. I specifically look at sporadic cases of tuberculosis in migrant agricultural workers in the San Luis Valley, a rural community in southwestern Colorado. I spoke with five informants who worked either in a public health capacity regarding tuberculosis or in an outreach capacity with migrant agricultural workers, and in a few instances as both.From my study, I have two classes of findings: ones which relate to tuberculosis in migrant agricultural workers and ones which contribute to a broader ethnographic survey of the San Luis Valley. Regarding specific findings, I identify a case where multiple public health officials interpreted a patient’s resistance differently, which warrants further investigation, but suggests a disconnect between public health officials and migrant agricultural workers as patients. A second specific finding identifies ways in which the H2-A visa program possibly extends beyond economic employment into exploitation and the possible medical implications of that case. Regarding broader findings, I identify ways in which rural communities can be misrepresented by data and this misrepresentation’s potential implications. In another broad finding, I discuss conceptions of charity and community in the San Luis Valley. This thesis touches on many topics regarding rural life, medical interactions, and power systems which affect the lives of migrant agricultural workers and suggests many opportunities for future studies.
Date Awarded
  • 2019-01-01
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Last Modified
  • 2020-01-06
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