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Lecture 2

SOAN 2040 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Class Discrimination, Banana Industry, Structural Violence

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2040
Natalie Rose

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Reflection #2
Ian Michasiw
Structural violence refers to how a society can be separated and classed by depriving
certain people of their wages and/or basic needs. This occurs in Honduras by using a
Maquiladora system, in which labour is completed in Honduras for low wages, then exported to
the United States. This garners large profits for American companies and leaves the Honduran
people with little to live off of. The prime example of this is the Banana industry in Honduras,
in which American banana companies owned a large amount of fertile land in Honduras, hired
Honduran workers for low wages, and exported the bananas to the United States for large
profits. Symbolic violence is similar to structural violence, but it refers more to an arbitrary
hierarchy between peoples. This could refer to sexism, racism, classism, and many other kinds
of symbolic violence structures that are prevalent in societies across the world including out
own. In Honduras, it refers to the separation between the maquiladora-style workers and the
American companies, in which the American companies open up businesses in Honduras to
take advantage of the Honduran people. The companies take advantage of the Honduran people
and pay them low wages which would be illegal in the companies country of origin, in order to
gain higher profits for the company and offer lower prices to the customers in the companies
country of origin. The structural violence and symbolic violence in Honduras both work
towards taking advantage of the Honduran people, which lowers wages and quality of life for
them, and garners larger profits for Western entities.