Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Anthropology

Major Professor

Heide Castañeda, M.P.H, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Susan Greenbaum, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Himmelgreen, Ph.D.

Keywords

Migrant farmworker health, social determinants of health, healthcare barriers, poverty, food security.

Abstract

Oral health is an important aspect of overall health, but many vulnerable

populations such as migrant farmworkers are without access to oral healthcare. Although

some non-government organizations such as faith-based organizations have attempted to

fill gaps left by government and private sectors, a lack of a dental safety net creates

limited access to oral health services for migrant farmworkers. Access to care is further

constrained by structural factors including low wages, migration route, and high costs of

care. Building off a critical medical anthropology approach in understanding oral

healthcare access, I argue that limited oral health access for migrant workers in the

Tampa Bay area is the result of economic constraints and not cultural beliefs or

educational shortcomings. This research therefore demonstrates the social determinants

of oral health, and how social disparities can become embodied in marginalized groups

such as migrant farmworkers.

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