Jessica Hardin

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Rochester Institute of Technology

Grant number

Gr. 10074

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Hardin, Jessica (Rochester Institute of Technology) "Time, timescale and responsibility: Care decision making for diabetes complications in Samoa"

Anthropologists know people make care decisions that reflect a wide variety of factors, including economic constraints, household organization, or insurance concerns. Using a collaborative ethnographic approach, this project examines how cultural notions of time and timescale shape care decisions around diabetes complications in ways that may impact health trajectories. The project analyzes time in three ways: (1) felt time (i.e., how people track changes in the body and sequence complications causes); (2) timespace (i.e., how histories of intergenerational exchange shape care choices); (3) timescale (i.e., how people arrange and create links between events and imagined pasts to explain diabetes complications). This project expands theories of chronicity by questioning the temporal dimensions of responsibility, specifically probing the delineation of risk in prevention-based discourses to an individual lifetime. This temporal limitation contrasts emergent epigenetic research that suggests intergenerational relations to the environment shape risk more than individual behavior. In Samoa the public is increasingly aware of this disconnect because of Samoa’s historic role in this research. By examining how temporality influences care decisions, the project theorizes the global failure of prevention-based interventions for conditions like diabetes, thus providing a new perspective on broader patterns of repeated and habitual global institutional failures.