Women's Health and Illness in a Migrant-Sending Community in Southern Mexico

  • Anglin, Mary (PI)
  • Scott, Mary (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Problem Statement: This research focuses on the connections between processes of globalization and health inequalities. It specifically examines the daily effects of globalization on the health outcomes of poor women in rural southern Mexico. Globalization, broadly defined as any social, political, or economic process involving more than two countries, is increasingly a focus of feminist social science research. In particular, medical anthropologists and other health researchers examine the connections between specific global processes and health outcomes. The development of increased global inequalities due to such global processes as transnational migration often negatively affects the health of those most disadvantaged. Therefore, more studies are needed that examine the daily effects of globalization on the lives of poor women in the global South. The research focuses on the physical effects of globalization on women's bodies and lives and utilizes theoretical frameworks in critical medical anthropology that address the complexity of social and political-economic processes that converge on particular bodies in particular ways to produce ill health. In particular, it explores transnational migration as a potential central factor in women's health outcomes in southern Veracruz, Mexico. Methods and Analysis: This research utilizes interviews, case studies, and participant observation. Interviews with women in households selected through a cluster sampling method will focus on household migration status, socioeconomic status, household health, women's involvement in household reproduction, and women's social network resources. Case studies, drawn from these household interviews, will contribute further insight into women's daily lives. These case studies will include several follow-up interviews with selected women and participant observation in their households. Interviews with community health care providers will aid in understanding of the common health issues that women face. Participant observation at events in the community, in multiple health care settings, and in the households of the women chosen for case studies will provide data that contributes to an analysis of the social production of health using one instance of increasing migration out of a rural Mexican community. Intellectual Merit: While large literatures exist concerning transnational migration, women's health, and global health disparities, there is little anthropological research that brings these literatures together to focus on one locally specific context of migration that affects women's health. This research from the "sending" community perspective contributes to understanding the ways that globalization affects the bodies and the lives of particular groups of people. Broader Impacts: This research will inform public health professionals and other health researchers who are concerned with the impact of transnational migration on population health. This research highlights issues facing the state of Veracruz given the steep increase in transnational migration in the last ten years. The health effects on sending communities are understudied in these "new" areas of migration. This research examines local idioms of distress related to health and migration, thus aiding the development of health interventions that are responsive to the health needs of local populations. Local interpretations of illness affect the way that people understand their interactions with health care providers and the kinds of health care interventions that are likely to be successful.
Effective start/end date6/1/0811/30/09


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.