UIC Institute for the Humanities

 Working Groups

HEALTH AND SOCIETY

Health and Society

2013-2014 Events

"Risk across Borders: Shifts in Social Context and the Production of Health Risks"  Add To Calendar

Héctor Carrillo, Associate Professor of Sociology and Gender & Sexuality Studies, Northwestern University

  • Date(s): Wednesday, 1/29 12:00 PM to Wednesday, 1/29 2:00 PM
  • Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities, Lower Level, Stevenson Hall
  • Address: 701 South Morgan St
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Contact: Linda Vavra
  • Email: huminst@uic.edu
  • Website: http://huminst.las.uic.edu
  • Phone: 312-996-6354
Abstract

In spite of growing awareness about the influence of structural and social factors on health, many health promotion programs continue to emphasize individual behaviors in explaining health risk taking, thus making individuals responsible for their health risks.  Alternatively, in addressing racial health disparities, public health efforts often rely on cultural explanations for risk and behavior that lump together large groups of people, thus emphasizing cultural difference over other factors, including individual ones, in explaining health risks.  

In this talk, I examine the apparent tension between individual and cultural/group-based approaches to health promotion. I base my analysis on research on the HIV risk of Mexican gay and bisexual immigrant men. I discuss the effects of the sudden shifts in social contexts that these immigrants experience when they move to the United States—shifts that challenge the notion that risk-taking behavior is produced solely by individual factors. At the same time, I also discuss the role of intragroup diversity among these men in their experiences of incorporation into U.S. gay life and their HIV risk post migration, challenging the ways in which “cultural difference” tends to be understood by public health and the health sciences.

Organizers

Claire Laurier Decoteau, Sociology
Sandy Sufian, Medical Humanities and History

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