Doctoral Dissertation Research: Lane: Citizenship and the Geopolitics of Healthcare Access in the American South

Grants and Contracts Details


This proposed research will examine how recent Latina immigrants to Atlanta, Georgia access and experience the reproductive healthcare system, and how these experiences shape their relationship to and citizenship in the city of Atlanta and the broader geopolitical contexts of Georgia and the U.S. Although Georgia has emerged as a new immigrant destination within the past two decades, it has recently passed anti-immigrant legislation that allows local police to enforce immigration law, thereby making deportation an everyday risk for undocumented immigrants. It is important to study how these laws affect access to reproductive healthcare because Latina immigrants are more likely to be in their reproductive years than the rest of the U.S population. In addition, because of their perceived hyperfertility, Latinas are often framed as threatening in anti-immigrant discourse. In this context, the propsed research first determines what barriers (legal, socio-economic, linguistic, pragmatic, discursive) exist for Latina immigrants' access to reproductive healthcare in Atlanta, and howrecent immigration and healthcare laws, and their media coverage have influenced such barriers to reproductive healthcare. Second, the project assesses the difficulties and risks Latinas experience when trying to access reproductive healthcare, and examines Latinas' actual experiences with obtaining reproductive healthcare. Finally, this proposed research sheds light onto what the failures and successes in obtaining reproductive healthcare mean for Latinas' (biological) citizenship in their new communities and the everyday geopolitics of immigration in Georgia and the U.S. In order to explore these issues, this project bridges insights from feminist geopolitics, citizenship studies, and new health geography and uses a combination of archival research, volunteering/participant observation, interviews, and focus groups. Intellectual Merit: Scholars of feminist geopolitics use ethnographic data to study the "micropolitics" of everyday life, but they have yet to apply such methodology to research on immigration and (in)security in the new immigrant destinations of the U.S. south to any great extent. Using participant observation, interviews, and focus groups, this proposed project will accomplish just that. In doing so, this research will also provide insight into the (non)citizenship that is fostered in Latinas' experiences receiving reproductive healthcare. Studies of citizenship and immigration have expanded the purview of citizenship by showing how citizenship is reified in ordinary activities. This project will add to citizenship studies insights into the construction of citizenship that takes place within the realm of reproductive medicine. The lens of biological citizenship but provides a useful framework to disentangle the (geo)political from matters of health in order to show how (non)citizens are differentially constructed by the state. Broader Impacts: This project's broader impacts center upon the improvement of access to and quality of reproductive healthcare for Latina immigrants. At the culmination of fieldwork, the co-PI will prepare a report to distribute to women's clinics and other medical facilities in Atlanta. Based on interview and focus group data, this report will include a list of healthcare priorities and needs from among the informants. This report will also be distributed to immigrant advocacy groups, including the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia and the Latin American Association of Atlanta.
Effective start/end date5/1/1310/31/14


  • National Science Foundation: $14,450.00


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