Year of Publication

2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Gary W. Shannon

Abstract

This social science research project takes a critical approach to understanding the health of a population by using the health care system as an entry point through which we can see how large-scale social processes produce a particular health care landscape in the rural, im/migrant farmworker community of Immokalee, Florida, USA. Using a multi-scalar analysis of health care, I investigate how anti-immigrant legislation and neoliberal economics influence the experience of health care for health care providers and Haitian im/migrant women navigating these processes. First, I argue that anti-immigrant and pro-market discourses have been successful in limiting the accessibility to health care services by all immigrant and low-income groups. Second, this serves to shape the landscape through the use of punitive funding changes that impact service availability, denying immigrants and low-income people the right to care. Third, health care providers work to provide care to immigrants despite fluctuating policy and funding, serving as the main point of tension between our politicized, market-driven health care system and their marginalized immigrant patients. Finally, I use the case of Haitian immigrant women in Immokalee to explore the ways that these processes impact service utilization and accessibility. I conclude the project with a discussion of the relevance of this information to enacting effective changes in the way we approach immigrant health in Immokalee and beyond using a combination of policy and planning to re-shape the environment to be one that is supportive of immigrant health and health equity.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2018.225

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