The post where Holly says, yes, actually there IS this dissertation thingy…

Possible reader comment:

“Are you really working on a PhD, because honestly, I read your blog and uh… you’re just totally a Mom with a camera and a sometimes nice way of writing.”

No, really, I am working on a PhD.  And while I don’t necessarily feel like I need to say anything to prove that fact, I am starting to turn a corner with my work.  No, no, I’m way too entrenched in academic aloofness to claim some sort of importance in what I find interesting (we get kicked out of the ivory tower club for that kind of uppity behavior) – but I do feel GOOD about it.  In the sense that there could, maybe, be some sort of usefulness in something, somewhere.  Was that stated aloof enough?  Phew.

Unsure of where to start, I’m just going to start at the beginning.  I figure, too, if I can just talk about this in normal language to explain to a regular person, than I do really ‘get’ the big picture here.  So think of this as an exercise.  Oh, and as something that will come in parts… because these blog posts need to be taken in steps before we reach full stride.  I’m telling you: I get winded easily.

So I study health inequalities.  I’m interested in where the best interventions can be made to improve  lives and health statuses.  In particular, I like health research because of how health reflects on social and political histories: there is a story, a reason, why certain people are healthy and others are not.  War, racism, segregation, climate – these all help paint health.  How this happens and how we should work as a nation and as a global community to mitigate those effects are of endless interest to me.

My current research is with Latin American immigrants to the United States.  Because I am working in New Orleans, the majority of these immigrants are Honduran – not Mexican — which is against the norm in many other areas of the United States that can correctly characterize their Latin American immigrant population as largely Mexican.  In short then, what I am studying encompasses both what it means to be an immigrant from Latin America living in the United States and what it means to be a racial minority within the United States.

So the first place to start is with race and health.  Stay tuned.