Archive for September, 2011

News Round Up In-Brief

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment

U.S. News

Why Structural Vulnerability? Why Latino Migrants in the United States? – James Quesada

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

James Quesada
San Francisco State University

Why propose another concept that appears to be a variation on a well-established theme … social suffering, the social production of disease and distress, the effects of violence of all kinds upon people and communities throughout the world? And why select a particular population like Latino migrants to represent how insidious and gripping structural vulnerability can be to one’s health and livelihood?

In a special issue of the journal Medical Anthropology, “Structural Vulnerability: Latino Migrants in the United States,” [1] the social science concept of structural vulnerability is introduced and put to use by medical anthropologists familiar with the plight of Latino migrants in the United States. Structural vulnerability refers to one’s position in social hierarchies that imposes physical-emotional suffering on specific population groups and individuals in patterned ways. Read more…

How Can Medical Anthropologists Contribute to Contemporary Conversations on “Illegal” Im/migration and Health?

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

How can medical anthropologists contribute to contemporary conversations on “illegal” im/migration and health?

Click below to read a newly published commentary in Medical Anthropology Quarterly in which three of AccessDenied’s founders consider precisely this question.[1] We invite your comments and reactions below, and we hope the piece will encourage additional scholars, clinicians, public health professionals, migrant activists, and others to join our conversation here at AccessDenied as readers and/or contributors.

Take a Stand Commentary: How Can Medical Anthropologists Contribute to Contemporary Conversations on “Illegal” Im/migration and Health? Medical Anthropology Quarterly Sarah S. Willen, Jessica Mulligan, Heide Castañeda. Vol. 25, Issue 3, pp. 331–356.

ABSTRACT: Of the estimated 214 million people who have migrated from poorer to richer countries in search of a better life, between 20 and 30 million have migrated on an unauthorized, or “illegal,” basis. All have health needs, or will in the future, yet most are denied health care available to citizens and authorized residents. To many, unauthorized im/migrants’ exclusion intuitively “makes sense.” As scholars of health, social justice, and human rights, we find this logic deeply flawed and are committed to advancing a constructive program of engaged critique. In this commentary, we call on medical anthropologists to claim an active role in reframing scholarly and public debate about this pressing global health issue. We outline four key theoretical issues and five action steps that will help us sharpen our research agenda and translate ourselves for colleagues in partner disciplines and for broader audiences engaged in policymaking, politics, public health, and clinical practice. [unauthorized im/migration, “illegality,” social determinants of health, “deservingness,” public anthropology]

[1] If you do not have online journal access via a personal subscription or academic institution, please email us at To subscribe to AccessDenied, please enter your email address under “Email Subscription” on our homepage. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, please contact us via email.