Dr. Mary Alice Scott
Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2010; Assistant Professor
Dr. Scott is a medical anthropologist whose research interests include the examination of health and illness production through the lens of intersectionality, particularly in the areas of transnational migration and public health systems. She is also interested in participatory methodologies and action-oriented research.
My current research includes two projects - one in Veracruz, Mexico and one in southern New Mexico. Both projects examine the intersections of migration processes and health in different ways.
My research in a sugar cane producing community in southern Veracruz, Mexico focuses on women whose family members have traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border and into the United States seeking work. I examine the intensification of women's paid labor and unpaid reproductive labor, the production of illegal deportable subjects at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the neoliberalization of the public health sector in Mexico. I use ethnography and case studies to explore the multiple contexts in which poor, rural, Mexican women experience health and illness. Future research plans in this area include further examination of the connections between reproductive labor and health in the context of transnational labor migration and continuing health care system reforms in Mexico.
I am also in the initial stages of a research project in southern New Mexico that focuses on the health care and illness experiences of older immigrants with chronic health issues. There are multiple barriers to health care access that have been identified for this group, and this project seeks to elaborate the complexities of these barriers for the local area. However, I am also particularly interested in identifying and describing the strategies, social networks, and other resources that people draw on to obtain health care and navigate experiences of illness. By doing so, this project lays the groundwork for future collaboration with local community members in a participatory research project.