The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) announces an annual student research competition in the applied social and behavioral sciences. The first place winner of the Competition will receive a cash prize of $3,000 as well as $350 to partially offset the cost of transportation and two nights lodging at the annual meeting of the Society. In addition, the winner receives an engraved crystal trophy. Cash prizes of $1,500 to second place and $750 to third place will also be awarded, as well as a $350 travel stipend and two nights lodging.
The award honors the late Peter Kong-ming New, a distinguished medical sociologist-anthropologist and former president of the SfAA. The award will be given to the best paper which reports on an applied research project in the social/behavioral sciences. The research question should be in the domain of health care or human services (broadly construed). The paper must be submitted to the SfAA Business Office no later than November 30 through the online form.
The Competition is open to any person who was registered as a student at the graduate or undergraduate level in a college or university during the most recent calendar year. An eligible student is one who does not have a previously-earned doctoral degree. For example, a person with an M.D. degree who is registered as a student in a Ph.D. program is not eligible, and vice versa.
To be eligible, the manuscript should report on research that in large measure has not been previously published. The competition will be limited to manuscripts that have a single author; multiple-authored papers will not be eligible.
The winner of the Competition must be available to attend the annual meeting of the Society and present the paper. The winner is also expected to submit the paper to our journal, Human Organization, for review and possible publication. Students who have previously won either first or second place in the Peter K. New Competition are not eligible in subsequent years.
The paper should be double-spaced and must be less than 45 pages in length (this includes footnotes, tables, and appendices). Please note that papers longer than the 45 page limit will not be forwarded to the judges. The paper should conform to the guidelines of conventional style manuals.
The research and the paper should use the social/behavioral sciences to address in an applied fashion an issue or question in the domain (broadly construed) of health care or human services.
All submissions must be received in the Business Office of the Society by November 30. The judging for the Competition will begin in December. The winner will be announced in early January. The winner will be recognized and the paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society.
The papers will be evaluated on the basis of the following general criteria:
Clarity of analysis and presentation
Contribution to the social/behavioral sciences
The first place winner of the Competition will receive a cash prize of $3,000 and an engraved crystal trophy. Second place will receive $1,500 and third $750. All winners will receive a sum of $350 to partially offset the cost of transportation and two nights lodging at the annual meeting of the Society.
Several winning manuscripts from previous years have been published in Human Organization. Potential applicants may wish to review these articles.
Devon D. Brewer, "Hip Hop Graffiti Writers’ Evaluations of Strategies to Control Illegal Graffiti," Human Organization, volume 51, #2 (Summer, 1992), pp. 188-196. First Prize Winner, 1991.
Elizabeth L. Krause, "The Looking Glass of Historic Preservation in Micronesia: A Reflection of Modernization and Changing Values," Human Organization, volume 51, #2 (Summer, 1992), pp. 197-201. Second Prize Winner, 1991.
Nancy Romero-Daza, "Multiple Sexual Partners, Migrant Labor and the Makings of an Epidemic," Human Organization, volume 53, #2 (Summer, 1994) pp. 192-205. First Prize Winner, 1993.
Peter Hessler, "Sikestown: An Ethnography of a Town and Its Youth," Human Organization, volume 52, #3 (Fall, 1993), pp. 316-324. Second Prize Winner, 1992.
Gery W. Ryan , "Can We Predict What Mothers Do: Modeling Childhood Diarrhea in Rural Mexico," Human Organization, volume 55, #1 (Spring, 1996), pp. 47-57. First Prize Winner, 1992.
Sandy Smith-Nonini, "Primary Health Care and its Unfulfilled Promise of Community Participation: Lessons from a Salvadoran War Zone," Human Organization, volume 56, #3 (Fall, 1997) pp. 364-374. First Prize Winner, 1995.
Melissa A. Checker, "‘It’s In the Air’: Redefining the Environment as a New Metaphor for Old Social Justice Struggles," Human Organization, volume 61, #1 (Spring, 2002) pp. 94-105. First Prize Winner, 1999.
Andrew M. Gardner, “The Long Haul from Deregulation: Truck Drivers and Social Capital in the Louisiana Oilpatch”, Human Organization, Vol. 61, #4 (Winter, 2002), pp. 390-398. First Prize Winner, 2000.
Miriam Williams Boeri, “’Hell, I’m an Addict, But I Ain’t No Junkie’: An Ethnographic Analysis of Aging Heroin Users”, Human Organization, Vol. 63, #2 (Summer 2004), pp. 236-245. First Prize Winner, 2001.
Bryan Tilt, “Perceptions of Risk from Industrial Pollution in China: A Comparison of Occupational Groups”, Human Organization, Vol. 65 #2 (Summer 2006), pp. 115-127. First Prize Winner 2004.
Xianghong Feng, “Preliminary Evaluation of the Socioeconomic Impacts of Tourism Development in Fenghuang County, China,” Human Organization, Vol. 67 #2 (Summer 2008), First Prize Winner 2005.
Jennifer R. Wies, “Professionalizing Human Services: A Case of Domestic Violence Shelter Advocates,” Human Organization, Vol. 67 #2 (Summer 2008), First Prize Winner 2006.
Sheena Nahm, “Between Stigma and Demand,” Human Organization, Vol. 68 #4 (Winter 2009), First Prize Winner 2008.
Karen E. Dyer, “From Cancer to Sexually Transmitted Infection: Explorations of Social Stigma among Cervical Cancer Survivors,” Human Organization, Vol. 69 #4 (Winter 2010), First Prize Winner 2009.
Robin Valenzuela (2016) “The Nashville John School: Affective Governance and the Reintegrative Shaming Approach.” Human Organization: Fall 2016, Vol. 75, No. 3, pp. 249-257
"This is Allah’s Plan”: Local Perceptions of Environmental Change in Rural Tanzania
Justin Raycraft is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology at McGill University, with specialization in environmental anthropology and photography. His graduate studies are supported by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Justin’s ethnographic research focuses on the political ecology of marine and wildlife conservation in Tanzania, with attention to the lived experiences of people affected by protected areas. He is especially interested in the interplay between space, politics, and subjectivity in the context of conservation areas and landscapes. In support of his doctoral research, Justin was awarded the Richard Salisbury Award, a scholarship offered annually by the Canadian Anthropology Society to an exceptional doctoral student studying at a Canadian University. His field research is also supported by the McGill Institute for the Study of International Development. Justin’s photographs have been published by notable magazines and news platforms, including National Geographic, the Nature Conservancy, and Current Biology. His academic research has been published in well-known journals, including Marine Pollution Bulletin, Geoforum, Ethnobiology Letters, and Visual Ethnography. Justin is deeply humbled to receive the 2019 Peter K. Award First Prize.
Biomedical Refusal: Pediatric Decision Making and the Settler State
Carey is a PhD candidate in Applied Psychology and Human Development and the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on situations in which young people and their families resist or refuse forms of life-saving biomedical treatment for a variety of cultural, religious, and political reasons. Grounded in critical ethnographic case study, Carey's dissertation raises pressing questions about young people's capacity to make their own medical decisions, about who is empowered to determine the best interests of a medically fragile child, and about the limits of multicultural accommodation in a secular liberal democracy.
Caring without Curing: Parasites, Student Medical Brigades, and Transitory Care in Rural Nicaragua
Diabetes Illness Narratives among Mexican Immigrants in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region.
Rebecca Bedwell is a Ph.D. student in sociocultural anthropology, with a concentration in medical anthropology, in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include medical anthropology, feminist anthropology, women’s health, migration, illness narratives, structural inequality, health disparities, and risk. She received her B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish at Indiana University – Bloomington in 2014, and her M.A. in Anthropology at the University of Arizona in 2017. Her M.A. thesis, entitled Diabetes Illness Narratives among Mexican Immigrants in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region, investigated experiences of type 2 diabetes among Mexican immigrants living in Tucson, Arizona, with a specific focus on conceptualizations of risk, heritability, individual responsibility, and experiences of emotion. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (2017-2022).
From “Biodiversity Hotspot” to “Socio-Environmental Hope Spot”: Making Wellbeing Central to Sustainable Development in Upper Amazonia.”
NGO Responsibilization: Landscapes of Need and Islands of Care for Children Living with HIV in Uganda.
Colleen Walsh Lang is currently enrolled in the MD/PhD program at Washington University in St. Louis. For her doctoral dissertation, titled “Vulnerable Agents: Ugandan Children’s Experiences with HIV-Rehabilitation and Reintegration,” she conducted 15 months of fieldwork in east-central Uganda at a long-term residential treatment center for children living with HIV. In this setting Colleen studied the ways the processes of medicalization and responsibilization interact in sometimes surprising ways. Her research emphasizes the tensions between children’s vulnerability and children’s (at times destructive) agency, between sustainable development paradigms which emphasize responsibility and patronage networks of interdependence, and between the biomedical and social meanings of food and health. Overall, in sharing children’s experiences living with HIV in Uganda, she seeks to emphasize the complexity of their lives, to write against sustainable development rhetoric which privileges independence over interdependence, and to hold both children’s vulnerability and their agency in frame simultaneously. Her research has been funded by the Fulbright Student Fellowship, the Lambda Alpha Graduate Research Grant, the Medical Student Award from the HIV Medical Association, and the Center for the Humanities Graduate Student Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. She is currently completing her clinical rotations at Washington University School of Medicine. In 2018-2019 she will complete a fellowship in clinical medical ethics at the MacLean Center for Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago.
“We made the choice to stick it out”: Negotiating a stable home in the rural, American Rust Belt
Amanda is scholar of home, place, and economic change. She is a PhD candidate in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s joint departments of Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology, advised by Michael Bell. Her research interrogates the relationship between structural, environmental, and economic change and lived experiences of home and community. Specifically, she is interested in how low-income communities adapt to globalizing economies and changing environments over time, through the lens of land tenure, environmental history, and economic development/post-development. Her qualitative field work has taken her from homesteads in Swaziland, to kitchen tables in dairyland Wisconsin, to red-dirt roads post-war northern Uganda, and most recently, to urban and rural Rust Belt communities. Amanda’s research situates the stories people tell about their places and their people within patterns of macroeconomic transformation.
In Search of Indigenous Justice in the Bolivian Highlands: Legal Pluralism and Critically Engaged Collaborative Research from below the “Thresholds of Visibility”
Amy Kennemore is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation research considers emerging forms of governance and politics in Bolivia through examination of the practices of knowledge production around legal pluralism, understood as both a legal mechanism to strengthen indigenous autonomy and a platform for critically engaged collaborative research. She has been an affiliated researcher of the La Paz Departmental Association of Anthropologists since August of 2015, conducting collaborative research with social science researchers, non-governmental workers, activists, and indigenous community members in the highland region of Bolivia to implement new forms of legal pluralism that are advanced in the 2009 constitution, which officially “re-founded” the country as a “plurinational, communitarian” state. In addition to conducting collaborative research in Bolivia, she currently serves as Editorial Assistant for the journal Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies.
"We Swim In Blood:" Exposure to risk and forms of care on the maternity ward of a Tanzanian hospital
Adrienne Strong is a joint Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St. Louis in the Department of Anthropology and the Universiteit van Amsterdam’s Health, Care, and the Body group in the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research. Her Ph.D. dissertation is entitled The Maternity Ward as Mirror: Maternal Death, Biobureaucracy, and Institutional Care in the Tanzanian Health Sector. She conducted approximately two years of fieldwork in the Rukwa region of Tanzania, predominantly based at the regional government referral hospital’s maternity ward. In this setting, Adrienne studied the ways in which biomedical healthcare facilities as both institutions and social environments influence forms of caring and, ultimately, whether a pregnant mother lives or dies during an obstetric emergency. She also explored the ways in which regional history and political economics have shaped biomedicine in contemporary Tanzania. Adrienne has a recently published article in Social Science & Medicine entitled “Working in Scarcity: Effects on social interactions and biomedical care in a Tanzanian hospital.” Her research has been funded by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad grant, NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement grant, and a Scholar Award from the international P.E.O. Sisterhood. Adrienne will graduate in May 2017 and plans to accept a postdoctoral research fellowship at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in the School’s Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD) group.
An Incomplete Cure: The Limits of Medical Normalization
The first prize in the annual Peter Kong-ming New Student Research Award was presented to Ms. Yen Le, a doctoral student at the Australian National University. Ms. Le won the Award with her paper, “An incomplete cure: The limits of medical normalization.”
Ms. Le grew up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She was awarded a scholarship to study in Japan at the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University where she completed the B.A. and M.A. degrees. This also allowed her the opportunity to learn another language (Japanese) along with Vietnamese and English. Following the M.A. degree, she was awarded a scholarship to enter the highly respected doctoral program in the Department of Anthropology at the Australian National University (ANU). There she was able to work with Dr. Philip Taylor, one of the top Asian scholars in the world. She has completed her dissertation and was awarded the Ph.D. degree in Anthropology.
Yen’s decision to focus her research on the leprosy village of Quy Hoa was quite serendipitous. She was traveling in 2009 with a group of friends who were lecturers at the Vietnam National University. The group visited orphanages, rehab centers, and the leprosy village, distributing charity gifts to the residents.
This was her first exposure to the community and to the idea that leprosy patients live in an isolated and homogeneous world. She was intrigued at the time and her interest increased as she progressed with her graduate education. As a doctoral student at ANU and under Dr. Taylor’s guidance, she was able to develop that initial interest into a PhD research project. The paper that she submitted to the P. K. New Competition was drawn from that research.
Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork conducted in communities for leprosy-affected people, Yen's PhD dissertation journeys into the world of people with leprosy in Vietnam. Relating the stories of the Vietnamese who live with this disease it offers an ethnographic rendering of their experiences of affliction and of care. Attentive to the cultural meanings of leprosy, the research guides the reader through the heterogeneous epistemic grounds that constitute this disease in Vietnam, investigating folk aetiologies, religious and state ideologies, scientific and public health discourses, and the performative displays of entitlement and abjection deployed by those with leprosy.
Yen has also previously lectured at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University - Ho Chi Minh City. She is very interested in anthropology and public health and plans to pursue those areas in the near future.
Malagasy Cookstove Use and the Potential for Alternative Models: A Case Study in Madagascar’s Vakinankaratra region
Elena Becker is an undergraduate at the University of Puget Sound, where she is obtaining a degree in Sociology and Anthropology. She is interested in social change and development, and has conducted independent ethnographic research on generational change in durable intentional communities, on cultural authenticity and the impacts of cultural tourism in Malaysian Borneo, and on the effects of wood-fuel burning cookstoves in rural Madagascar. The latter forms the content of her Peter K. New paper, which outlines the cultural and material characteristics that make these traditional stoves popular, and how those attributes can be applied to alternative stoves to increase their adoption and retention. She will receive her Bachelor of Arts in May 2017.
You lose something, you know?” Environmental Gentrification, Displacement, andPerceptions of Neighborhood Instability around Light-Rail Public Transit
Lina Stepick is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to graduate school she worked as a community organizer in the East L.A. neighborhood of Boyle Heights on issues of gentrification, displacement, and environmental justice. Her current research focuses on the politics of the urban growth machine and social equity organizing efforts around the current $9 billion investment in L.A. public transit, as well as the impacts of this investment on gentrification and displacement in historically disinvested neighborhoods.
School And Self: The Alignment and Misalignment of Literacy Practices
The Nashville John School: Risk Deterrence and the Reintegrative Shaming Approach
Robin Valenzuela is a PhD student in the Anthropology program at Indiana University. She is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, where she attended the University of Louisville and received her BA in Spanish, her MA in Spanish, a Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies, and her MA in Anthropology. Her current research interests include citizenship (namely for Latin American immigrants in the United States), Family Law and Child Protective Services, and motherhood.
Garlic, Tapir Claws, and Tranquilidad: Structural Constraints and Ethnomedical Solutions…
Colin Forsyth recently completed a Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology at the University of South Florida. He also has an M.P.H in Epidemiology from the University of South Florida (2011) and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico (1997). He first became aware of Chagas disease while living in Bolivia in the late 1990’s. After losing a brother-in-law to Chagas, a man with three children still in the prime of his life, Colin decided to devote his dissertation research to understanding how people in Bolivia cope with the disease. The research for his paper, “Garlic, Tapir Claws and Tranquilidad: Structural Constraints and Ethnomedical Solutions to Chagas Disease in Tropical Bolivia” took place in a rural area where the majority of the population has the disease. The research was greatly facilitated by the collaboration of the Centro Medico Humberto Parra (CMHP), a nonprofit clinic established by two Chicago endocrinologists.
After completing his first master’s degree in 1997, Colin worked as an English teacher in Bolivia and later as an ESL teacher back in the U.S. He spent several years at a Tampa HR consulting company, but after a decade out of the classroom he decided to change his career path and pursue his academic interests. Colin lives in the Tampa area with his wife and two youngest children; the eldest is at college in New York. He hopes to return to Bolivia and conduct further research on ethnomedical practices.
Out of Sight, Still in Mind: Visually Impaired Women’s Embodied Accounts of Ideal Femininity
Tara Fannon is a PhD candidate at NUI, Galway Ireland. Her dissertation research investigates if, how and to what extent masculinity and disability discourses shape blind and visually impaired men's individual subjectivities and embodied experiences, and whether or not this is empowered or disempowered by the absence of sight- with sight being a primary and privileged informant of social and cultural knowledge. Tara is an adjunct sociology lecturer in NYC where she lives. There, she also enjoys her roles as a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities, a board member of Endangered Bodies NYC and a co-editor of Masculinities 101. Other teaching and research interests include feminist disability theory, culture, health and morality. Links to some of her work can found on Tumblr.
Translating International Health Policies into Lived Realities: Restricted Maternal Autonomy in the Peruvian Highlands
Isabella Chan is a PhD student in Global Health at the University of South Florida where she also completed her MA in Applied Anthropology and MPH in Global Health Practice in December of 2013. She received her BA in Anthropology in 2008 from Georgia State University. Her research interests include maternal health, health-related decision-making, the political economy of health, health disparities, intimate partner violence, the Peruvian Andes, participatory action research, and social justice.
Her Peter K New paper, “Translating International Health Policies into Lived Realities: Restricted Maternal Autonomy in the Peruvian Highlands,” examines maternal decision-making regarding prenatal care and childbirth in three rural Andean communities in an effort to understand how women are experiencing and negotiating the shifting landscape of maternal care practices and providers. Ultimately, this research found that women’s decision-making regarding their bodies and their babies is shaped by their socioeconomic status, gender, and ethnicity. Issues of financial and social coercion as well as ethnic and gender discrimination arose as significant factors structuring risk and constraining maternal agency.
Alongside the academic endeavors of this research were also several applied outcomes, including a community deliverable, aimed at facilitating open conversation between participating communities and care providers, and the formation of a grassroots women’s group that continues to target some of the issues uncovered during Isabella’s field work as well as other concerns regarding community violence, child nutrition, and reproductive health education.
Starting with a Clean Plate: An Exploration of Healthy Eating and Dietary Adherence
Maria Carabello is a MS student in Food Systems at the University of Vermont, where she also earned her BS in Nutrition and Food Sciences with a minor in Anthropology in May 2013. Her research takes a transdisciplinary approach to complex food and nutritional issues, with an emphasis on integrating classic and novel ethnographic methods. Current research interests include cooking, health, dietary adherence, and pedagogy.
Her Peter K. New paper, “Starting with a Clean Plate: An Exploration of Healthy Eating and Dietary Adherence,” is an adaptation of her senior honors thesis. The paper explores the behavior of home-cooks in the Northeast and the work of nutrition educators in Vermont, with the aim of identifying ways to improve dietary health through nutritional education. The vantages of the home-cooks and educators reveal that healthy eating and dietary adherence are complex behaviors that require a mindful negotiation of options, choices, and competing priorities. These results suggest that future strategies to improve dietary habits ought to approach the task of adherence as a multi-stage process, rather than a singular pass/fail effort. Maria is currently designing her Master’s thesis, which branches from her past work to focus on cooking as a pedagogical technique with implications as to students’ long-term involvement and relationship with various aspects of food preparation.
Alternative Economies as Development Alternatives: Lessons from the Barter Systems of Medellín, Colombia.
Brian J. Burke received his PhD in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, where he participated in a variety of applied research including projects to study: grassroots environmentalism on the US-Mexico border (with Dr. Diane E. Austin), the strategies of Latin American rural cooperatives in the context of economic globalization (with Drs. Timothy J. Finan and Marcela Vasquez-Leon), ecovillages and fair trade coffee production in Colombia, and his dissertation work on activism for barter systems and alternative currencies in Medellin, Colombia (with Dr. James B. Greenberg). His Peter K New paper on the social and economic impacts of alternative economies grows out of this dissertation work. Since graduating, Brian has been working as a post-doc with the Coweeta Listening Project, a collective of anthropologists and geographers who are studying and promoting the democratization of ecological science in Southern Appalachia.
Breast or Bottle: Perceptions of Breastfeeding and their Influence on Breastfeeding Rates in the United States.
Amanda Overgaard completed her Bachelor of Science in Sociology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a minor in Psychology in May 2012. Her academic interest is in medical anthropology, particularly maternal child health. Her winning paper, “Breast or Bottle: Perceptions of Breastfeeding and their Influence on Breastfeeding Rates in the United States” is a product of her senior thesis. She hopes to attend graduate school in the fall of 2013.
Speech that Silences, Silences that Speak: “That’s so Gay,” “That’s so Ghetto,” and “Safe Space” in High School.
Susan W. Woolley received her B.A. in Anthropology from Wesleyan University and an M.A. in Education from U.C. Berkeley. She is completing her Ph.D. in Education with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality at U.C. Berkeley. Her research and teaching interests intersect in the following areas: anthropology of education; language, discourse, and power; gender and sexuality studies; and ethnographic and qualitative research methodology. Susan’s training in socio-cultural and linguistic anthropology and discourse analysis informs her study of the ways heteronormative discourses are reproduced and re-signified through everyday social interactions in school. In her research, she focuses on student-led peer education and teachers’ curricular and pedagogical interventions targeting gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ issues in their school. Examining everyday linguistic and social practices, Susan questions what happens to social constructions of “safe space” when students and teachers both contest and reproduce notions of binary gender and heteronormativity. Her paper “Speech that Silences, Silences that Speak: ‘That’s so Gay,’ ‘That’s so Ghetto,’ and ‘Safe Space’ in High School” focuses on the ways such linguistic expressions interpellate subjects’ identities and social positions and serve as conduits for power and the reproduction of ideology through their injury.
The Importance of Education in a Changing Sexual Landscape.
David Lawrence is currently a final year Medical Student at the University of Liverpool, UK and spent 2010/11 completing a Masters in Medical Anthropology at Durham University. Building on extensive experience in the field of Sex and Relationships Education he has conducted research in East Africa into the needs of young people alongside the barriers that prevent them from receiving high quality education. David is also on the Board of the Family Planning Association of the UK, a member association of the International Planned Parenthood Foundation and works closely with an NGO in Eastern Uganda.
“You Ridin’?”: The Moral Economy of Violence in North Philadelphia
George Karandinos received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania, Health and Societies department in 2010. He is continuing research begun as an undergraduate around issues of urban poverty, violence, the illicit drug economy and police brutality as a resident ethnographer in a socioeconomically depressed predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood in North Philadelphia. His research interests include social inequality, health disparities, violence, urban poverty, incarceration, medical anthropology and health care as a human right. George’s eventual goal is to enter an MD/PhD program in Medical Anthropology and pursue a combined clinical-research career. His winning paper, entitled “You ridin’?: The Moral Economy of Violence in North Philadelphia” explores the way street violence circulates as a resource, producing and reinforcing durable relationships of mutual obligations and reproducing violence in the inner-city context of imposed ghettoization, public service breakdown and historical and continuing socioeconomic and ethnic marginalization. The paper draws on Maussian exchange theory, Bourdieu’s theory of habitus and field and an expansion of E.P. Thompson’s moral economy concept.
From Cancer to Sexually Transmitted Infection.
Karen Dyer is a PhD student in applied anthropology at the University of South Florida. She received a dual Masters degree in anthropology and public health from USF in 2008, and her BA in psychology from Connecticut College. Her research interests include experiences of cancer survivorship, health disparities, health-related NGOs, and reproductive and sexual health. Her paper investigated the underlying factors and intricacies of cervical cancer-related stigma through in-depth interviews with cervical cancer survivors. Women’s experiences of stigma were often tied to interacting and interdependent beliefs surrounding causation: cervical cancer’s connection to sexual behavior, its perception as a disease that is caused by individual lifestyle choices and behaviors, and its new recognition as a preventable condition through regular screening and the new HPV vaccine. Beliefs about all of these characteristics have combined to generate untold consequences from the perspective of the survivors—guilt, shame, and embarrassment; fear of others’ beliefs, perceptions and behavior; lack of support services, financial assistance and cutting-edge treatment; and structural discrimination in funding and research policy.
Between Stigma and Demand
In June 2009, Sheena Nahm received her PhD from the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine with an emphasis in Critical Theory. For her dissertation research, she focused on the implementation of play therapy programs in South Korea for children diagnosed with attachment disorders. In addition to issues of transnational knowledge production and regulation of medical programs across borders, she investigated how the adaptation of a play therapy program affects local caretakers' and practitioners' perceptions of categories such as nature-culture, normal-abnormal, and work-play. Prior to receiving her PhD, Sheena received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Biological Basis of Behavior (biopsychology) and Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. She went on to receive her Masters in Public Health from Drexel University, with an emphasis in Community Health and Prevention in 2004. There, she was involved in several research projects ranging from health issues among refugees and asylum seekers to food insecurity among urban African American women. Her master's thesis evaluated the effectiveness of hepatitis B multi-media education among Asian immigrant youth in Philadelphia. She is now the Research Program Specialist for the Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S) program at the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Norman Lear Center. She conducts original research, evaluates program activities, assists in data collection and analysis, and presents findings through articles in peer reviewed journals and conferences. She also coordinates research agenda-setting conferences and assists the Program Director with expansion of the research component of the program in the US and overseas.
First Line of Defense: Health Care Agents and Childhood Cancer in Recife, Brazil.
Christina Chauvenet will graduate in May 2008 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Latin American Studies, /summa cum laude/ from Wake Forest University with honors in Political Science. Her academic interests include public health and human rights in Latin America, particularly Argentina and Brazil. Her winning paper, entitled "First Line of Defense: Health Care Agents and Childhood Cancer in Recife, Brazil" was the product of her trip to Brazil in the summer of 2007 through a university student research grant. She also recently completed a senior thesis entitled "Exploring Institutional Reform: Combating Police Brutality in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro during the 1990s". Next year, she will begin graduate studies in Latin American Politics at The Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London, with an eventual goal of academia.
Professionalizing Carework: A Case Study of Domestic Violence Shelter Advocates in the United States.
Jennifer R. Wies completed her doctoral education in Anthropology at the University of Kentucky, focusing on applied and medical anthropology. Her research efforts center on examining structural inequalities that prevent individuals from establishing and maintaining a high quality of life and well-being. To date, she has focused on social movement advocates and activists working in human service non-profit organizations to capture the grassroots perspectives of human service care work as they articulate with multiple power structures. Jennifer has taught undergraduate courses at the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College. In addition, she has provided intimate partner violence intervention services and prevention programming at the University of Kentucky Women's Place.
"Studying Up” in the Environmental Public Health Sector.
Peter C. Little is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. He is broadly interested in the role of anthropology in environmental public health debates and advocating for communities impacted by toxic chemical contamination. This research focus has also sparked his interests in science and technology studies and political ecology. He earned his BA in Anthropology at Binghamton University and completed an honors thesis, which received high honors, entitled “Political Ecology, Health, and Environment: Groundwater Contamination in Upstate New York and Its Surfacing Narratives”. The research focused on community and scientific framings of environmental contamination in Endicott, New York, which is home to International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). The relationship between chipboard manufacturing, pollution, and public health is an area of research that informs his current PhD research. He intends to revisit Endicott for his dissertation field research to work closely with a grassroots organization made up of many former IBM workers concerned about occupational and environmental health issues.
Evaluating the Ecological and Socio-cultural Impacts of Tourism Development in Human Province, China.
Xianghong Feng is a doctoral student in cultural anthropology at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, where her faculty advisor is Prof. John H. Bodley. Her research interests are in Chinese minorities, rural development, and contemporary issues. She worked as an intern journalist covering the reporting of China’s minority areas development at People’s Daily, Beijing, in 2000 and 2002. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2000 and a master’s degree in folklore in 2003 at Central University of Nationalities, Beijing, P. R. China, Her preliminary dissertation research in 2005 on the impact of tourism development on ethnic minorities in Hunan Province was funded by a Summer Doctoral Fellowship from the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, and by an International Research Award from the Department of Anthropology, Washington State University.
Misreading the Arizona Landscape: Challenging Received Wisdom on Ecological Destruction in Southeastern Arizona.
Colin West is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology and graduate research associate in the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA) at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. He is broadly interested in the human dimensions of global environmental change. Colin has conducted fieldwork in Burkina Faso, West Africa and also the Southwest United States. This research explores the sustainability of rural livelihoods undergoing processes of social and climatic change.
Modeling Community Perceptions of Risk from Industrial Pollution in Rural China: A Political-Ecological Approach.
When I began my graduate studies in anthropology at the University of Washington, I did so with the belief that social science should be engaged with real-world problems, and this belief has guided the course of my studies. Because I had lived for several years in South Korea and had a moderate grasp of the Korean language, my intention was to do fieldwork there. But after developing, in my first year, a keen interest in industrialization as a force of social, economic and environmental change, I realized that China would be a more appropriate field site, for several reasons. First, the scale of industrialization is unprecedented. China has transformed itself from an overwhelmingly agrarian nation into an industrial giant--all within the last two decades and with a population of more than 1.2 billion people. And second, the pace of this transformation has meant that the bureaucratic and legal framework for environmental protection and enforcement is lacking. This means that individuals and communities are often forced to cope with dangerous levels of industrial pollution, an unplanned public health experiment with an unknown outcome.
I chose Futian Township in China’s mountainous Sichuan province as my study site partly because, as a poor and under-developed region its reliance on local factories is so acute, and partly out of bureaucratic necessity. As a foreign researcher delving into a sensitive topic like pollution and health, collaboration with Chinese colleagues was a must. The University of Washington has long-standing ties with Sichuan University, and these ties proved invaluable as a way of gaining access to the research site and as a means of cooperating with exceedingly competent Chinese scholars. The study site proved fortuitous for me, since its high, arid mountain landscape reminded me daily of my home in Utah. My wife, Jenna, who participated actively in the fieldwork for this project and who now speaks Chinese with a decidedly Sichuanese accent, concurs. In keeping with my belief that anthropologists should be engaged with real-world problems, I am currently discussing, with colleagues at Sichuan University, the possibility of helping rural factories in Futian invest in environmental mitigation technologies to safe-guard the environment and promote community development.
In addition to my academic work, I have been working at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle for the past two years, collaborating with other anthropologists on a project to assess how Alaskan communities use and manage fishery resources. This experience has broadened my horizons tremendously and has underscored the need for more community-focused research in government agencies.
I earned my Ph.D. in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Washington in August 2004, with a dissertation entitled “Risk, Pollution and Sustainability in Rural Sichuan, China.” In September 2005, I will begin a new job as Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at Oregon State University. I am looking forward to packing up the family--which includes my wife Jenna, my seven month-old son Avery, and dog Alta--and exploring the wilds of Oregon.
Romani Women in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Reflections on Family and Violence.
Jennifer Erickson is a PhD student and graduate teaching fellow at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. She has worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina and as a case manager with refugees in the U.S. She received her M.A. in Anthropology at the University of Oregon. Ms. Erickson is interested in the anthropology of violence and war, race/class/gender, and refugees in the U.S., the former Yugoslavia, and Sudan.
Engaging 'Risk' as a Central Concern for Applied Medical Anthropology: Prenatal Genetic Counseling with Latina Women.
In contemporary health care settings, the concept of “risk status” is a central feature of patient care and is fundamental to preventative approaches. However, while the clinical concept of “risk” appears to be rather unambiguous, how it becomes interpreted may involve many layers of complex and even contradictory meanings. Thus, one of the most fruitful applications for contemporary medical anthropology is the critical examination of risk discourse as socially contingent and culturally embedded. On a practical level, understanding ideas about “risk” is an important factor in assuring the equitable provision of health care technology.
This paper investigates the role of risk discourse in the field of prenatal genetic counseling, using 23 cases from a larger study of Latina women in South Texas* to investigate how patients and clinicians interpret the clinical construct of “risk.” It appears that differential perceptions of risk are not simply a problem of information transfer in the clinic, but are rooted in the various meanings and values each party brings with them into the consult. These concerns become obscured within shifting personal, clinical, and epidemiological concepts of risk. I argue that the concept of “risk “ -- especially as it is invoked when making judgments about patient care -- is not a neutral, objective construct, but carries important implications for equality in the clinical setting.
Heide Castañeda is a PhD student and research associate at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. She received her M.A. degree in Anthropology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and an M.P.H. at the University of Texas -- Houston Health Science Center. Ms. Castañeda is interested in health disparities and migrant health in the U.S. and Europe.
*The project from which this data was drawn was funded by the National Institutes of Health Center for Human Genome Research. The co-investigators of the project are Carole H. Browner (University of California Los Angeles) and Linda M. Hunt (Michigan State University). In addition, some patient interviews were collected through a separate project funded by the San Antonio Area Foundation.
Environmental Discourse and Cultural Contradiction.
While Indian tribes are encouraged to pursue tribal autonomy, particularly in managing natural resources on reservations, that undertaking is often overwhelming for small tribes. Using the case study of watershed management on the reservation of the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians in northern Arizona, this paper challenges the notion that tribal autonomy, or even legal authority, are necessarily the most effective means for securing control of natural resources.
First, I locate the watershed management attempts of the Kaibab reservation in the historical and contemporary context of water issues in the Southwest. While water is always a volatile issue in the Southwest, current over-allocation of water rights, artificial separations between surface and groundwater, and unwieldy bureaucracy have created a near-incomprehensible labyrinth for tribes seeking to manage their water resources.
Next, I address water management on the local level of the Kaibab Paiute reservation. Using the linguistic methodology of critical discourse analysis, I examine how the three major stakeholder groups in the region—scientists, Mormans, and the Kaibab Paiutes—articulate views of the environment in forums of public discourse. These discourses, I propose, reflect variable understandings of the natural world in general, and water in particular. However, these competing worldviews are abstractions only; they do not exist in bounded isolation, but are consistently challenged and adapted at an individual level. Not only must Kaibab managers address water issues within a difficult historical and institutional environment, but in a social environment where fundamental disagreements exist regarding the relationship between humans and nature.
I conclude that the Kaibab Paiutes, with a history of enforced inclusion in both Mormon and scientific communities, are better positioned to work with the various stakeholders than anyone else. Their strength regarding resource management, I argue, lies not in autonomy, but in connectivity.
Ms. Erin Dean is a PhD student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Renewable Natural Resource Management. She has also been a research assistant for the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology for the past four years, working predominantly on environmental anthropology projects in the Southwest.
"Hell, I'm an Addict, But I Ain't No Junkie": An Ethnographic Analysis of the Heroin Career.
This study applies sociological theories to ethnographic fieldnotes, survey data, and life histories of current baby boomer-age heroin users.* By analyzing the lived experience of active heroin users in the baby boomer cohort, which includes both short-term and long-term use, diverse trajectories in the heroin career can be examined. This study provides not only a description of today’s heroin addict but also a typology of drug users based on insights collected from the users’ own reports. A synthesis of symbolic interaction, social construction, and life course theories provide the framework for this analytical ethnography of the everyday lives of older heroin users. The grounded theory analysis of in-depth interviews and drug use surveys allowed a typology of the heroin career to emerge. The heroin-using career typology presented here is composed of nine categories that differ by maintenance of social roles and control of drug use. The typology also acts as an aide to promote changes for more humane drug policies and provides an additional tool for treatment, intervention, and law enforcement to help users maintain social roles and reduce the criminal element in drug-related activities.
Ms. Boeri is a doctoral candidate (ABD) at Georgia State University and a research coordinator in the Department of Sociology. She received her undergraduate degree from Kennesaw State University with a major in communications. Having spent 15 years in Europe and conversant in two foreign languages, Ms. Boeri is interested in cross-cultural research on drug use issues, with a focus on identity reconstruction and role exit.
*The project from which this data was drawn, Trends, was funded by a National Institute of Health/ National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant (RO1DA12639). Principal investigators are Dr. Kirk Elifson, Georgia State University, and Dr. Claire Sterk. Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health.
Cajun Illness Narratives of Diabetes Type II.
Influencing the Quality of Police Service by Understanding How Police Attain Professional Status.
Social Capital and Shifting Identity in the Louisiana Oil Patch
The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, experts typically gauge the impact of labor market deregulation in economic terms. In the course of this paper, I argue that in the Louisiana oilpatch, one can perceive a more significant and complex stratum of social impacts underlying those of an economic nature. Utilizing social capital as the fulcrum for analysis, I explore the shifting structure of relations resulting from the sudden deregulation of the trucking sector of the Louisiana oilpatch.
Second, I seek to demonstrate that as a conceptual tool, social capital merits a more nuanced application. While often touted as a panacea to a variety of social and economic ills, social capital is here conceptualized as a two-edged sword: the structure of the industry prior to deregulation built upon the social and familial networks that predominate in Acadiana, resulting in a more egalitarian set of power relations than those emerging since deregulation. At the same time, however, these networks of social capital served as systems of exclusion, promoting the welfare of some at the expense of others. Social capital and the networks in which it thrives, I argue, must be conceived as systems of power relations.
Finally, I argue that the exploration and analysis of identity represents a vital frontier to applied work. In the context of the oilpatch, the truckers have selectively and strategically configured an occupational identity by which they refuse the mold of industrial labor – instead promoting those entrepreneurial aspects of their occupation that were essential to the industry prior to deregulation. Through this process, previously inconceivable alternatives – including collective action – are now being considered.
Mr. Gardner is a doctoral student at the University of Arizona and a research assistant in the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA). His M.A. was completed under the guidance of Profs. Diane Austin, Thomas McGuire and Timothy Finan.
Previously, Mr. Gardner received his undergraduate degree from George Washington University with a major in philosophy.
Deafness and Sign Language in a Yucatec Maya Community-communication and Cultural Inclusion
Sensitive Sensing: Reflections on the Promises and Perils of Integrating Remote Sensing in Anthropological Research
It's in the Air: Redefining the environment as a New Metaphor for Old Social Justice Struggles.
In cities across the United States, minority communities often bear the brunt of urban life's toxic burdens and host a disproportionate number of hazardous waste generating facilities. Over the past decade, a new grassroots movement, known as environmental justice, has begun to address these environmental inequalities. For environmental justice activists, their "rights" include access to toxin free air and water as well as to all of the urban resources to which they have historically been denied or had limited access.
This paper uses two cases to illustrate how minority activists are appropriating the discourses of the mainstream environmental movement and re-defining them as social justice issues. The first case stems from field research conducted between 1998 and 1999 with African American environmental justice activists in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Augusta, Georgia. These activists described their neighborhood as a "toxic donut" because at least nine factories, junkyards and other polluting industries surrounded it. In 1990, Hyde Park's neighborhood association, begun as a civil rights organization, added the struggle to remediate neighborhood contamination to their list of concerns. The second case is based on field research conducted in 1995 with Latino and Hasidic activists in Brooklyn, New York. For three decades, these two ethnic groups had engaged in fierce battles over the allocation of resources such as schools, housing and police protection. However, in the early 1990s, the groups joined forces to protest poor environmental quality in their neighborhood.
The paper demonstrates how in each case, activists quickly folded other social justice issues into environmental discourse. At times, activists expanded the meaning of "the environment" to include all of the resources to which they were denied access. In certain situations, the environment also symbolized common ground and became a basis for inter-racial and interethnic political cooperation. The ambiguous environmental narratives that activists constructed then became contexts for multiple organizing strategies as well as cross-cultural alliances.
The findings in this paper suggest that environmental discourse presented an alternative avenue for political opposition to problems of housing, schools, etc. Including the environment on their agendas for social change enabled activists to construct expansive organizing narratives. These narratives then allowed them to develop and sustain new strategies and alliances that strengthened their social justice struggles.
Ms. Checker is a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology at New York University where her major professor is Owen M. Lynch. The data for Ms. Checker's paper were collected during a field research project involving a group of African American environmental justice activists in Georgia who were protesting the contamination of their community. She has a long-standing interest in this area, having completed earlier a master's thesis on an environmental justice group in Brooklyn.
Ms. Checker received her undergraduate degree (cum laude) from the University of Pennsylvania with majors in English literature and urban folklore. She matriculated at New York University after working for four years in Northern California with several non-profit groups.
Poison in the Honey: Gender Ideologies and Sexual Relations Among Youth in Dar es Salaam.
Water in Their Eyes, Dust on Their Land: Heat, Illness and Suffering in a Haitian Town.
Rural Haitians experience a great deal of physical suffering as part of their daily lives. Extreme poverty, land degradation and lack of infrastructure have created an environment in which even simple tasks require a great deal of energy. This paper, based on two summers of feildwork in Haiti, is about the illness condition chale (heat) as it is described by the residents of a small coastal town. The illness is thought to be caused by overexposure to heat and exacerbated by physical labor, such as working in fields or carrying water.In addition to describing the ways in which the condition affects single individuals, Haitians also incorporate the larger themes of poverty and environmental damage into their discourses on chale. Their narratives provide a useful way of re-examining current conceptualizations of "folk illnesses" and also show the ways in which environmental conditions can shape illness experiences.
Mr. Minn's interest in Haiti grew from a research assistantship with the Yale Global Migration project. Subsequently, he spent the summers of 1997 and 1998 in Haiti conducting research on health conditions and beliefs. He has presented the initial results of his work at meetings of the Haitian Studies Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology. Mr. Minn received his BA in anthropology from Yale University in May of 1999, and was awarded a Fulbright Grant to South Korea. He plans to pursue graduate study in medical anthropology and development.
HIV and the Economy of Poverty
The Interaction of Structure and Culture in South Africa's Post-apartheid Schools.
The interaction between structure and culture has been the focus of social science research for many decades. Given the relatively invariant nature of the economic structure in most societies, however, it is difficult to adequately measure the impact of these structural factors on other related social forces. South Africa represents one nation where the recent dramatic political transformation has created an ideal context in which to examine cultural responsiveness to structural change. While these processes are manifested in all social, political, and economic sectors, the education system is one institution in which this relationship between structure and culture is particularly clear.
In this paper, I examine the interaction between structure and culture in black township schools, with a focus on teachers' perspectives for rebuilding a culture of learning in post-apartheid South African schools. My findings are based on interviews and questionnaires administered to teachers and principals from four secondary schools in Khayelitsha, the largest black township in Cape Town.
Despite the massive transformation in economic opportunities now available to black South Africans, teachers continue to display feelings of apathy or antipathy towards their work and students remain indifferent to the learning process. A culture seems to be firmly entrenched among the school community which perpetuates the lack of enthusiasm, interest and effort.
While it is premature to claim that structural transformation has had no impact on school cultures, the initial evidence suggests that cultures are far more resistant to change than popular sociological theory may predict. While material/structural concerns were often the first to be brought up as salient indicators of the school's decay, when probed deeper, teachers consistently shifted focus to the more intangible components of the school's culture of learning. Stressing issues of discipline, training, and support, respondents emphasized the importance of interventions which go beyond structural repairs to directly address the human resource needs of the school.
Ms. Devah Pager is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. In 1993, she earned a B.A. degree (with highest honors) from U.C.L.A., where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned the M.A. degree from Stanford University. The research for her paper was conducted while she was a graduate student at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Her faculty advisor is Prof. David Grusky.
Prof. & Organ. Deviance Physician Managers HMO
Reformulation of the Polygyny-Fertility Hypothesis
Micro-lending Initiatives for Equitable and Sustainable Development
Primary Health Care and its Unfulfilled Promise of Community Participation
Participatory Research in Thailand
Patchwork, Pastoralists, and Perception: Dune Sand in Mongolia
A Convergence of Health Beliefs: An Ethnography of Adherence
Women's Work and Child Health in Rural Haiti
An Historical Case of Hunter's Syndrome with Analysis of Implications
Women's Work, Household Characteristics, and Breastfeeding in Ghana
Implementing Self Care: The Transformation of Policy at a Sickle Cell Clinic
Embodiment and Integration: Midwife-Assisted Home Birth
Health, Medicine, and Belief: Chinese-American Elderly in a Developing Multicultural Urban Community
Patients' Perceptions of Physicians and Intentional Non-adherence to Prescription Regimens Among the Elderly
Multiple Sexual Partners, Migrant Labor, and the Making of an Epidemic
Latah: Disease Created Through Discourse
The Role of Subculture in the Transmission of HIV Among IV Drug Users
Can We Predict What Mothers Do
Sikestown: An Ethnography of a Town and Its Youth
The Health Needs of Black Male Offenders
Labor Process and Race Relations
Women on the Edge: Gender and Crack Cocaine
Hip Hop Graffiti Writers’ Evaluations of Strategies to Control Illegal Graffiti
The Looking Glass of Historic Preservation in Micronesia: A Reflection of Modernization and Changing Values
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