Margaux Fisher

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Irvine, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10683

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Fisher, Margaux (California, Irvine, U. of) "Health Otherwise: Reframing Adolescent Mental Health in the Deep South"

In Louisiana, governing elites have long found it more profitable to deny the connections between health outcomes and the structural inequities of an anti-Black petrostate. Adolescents are among those most affected by the paucity of research on health inequity. Local efforts to remedy these knowledge gaps are hampered by the prevalence of biomedical models that obfuscate structural violence’s effects. In these models, adolescent mental illness results from personal deficiency and social anomie, not structural inequities. Nonetheless, a recognition that systems and structures impact human health draws advocates and academics to the promise of collaborative datawork—the work of making data meaningful across social and scientific communities. Through 12 months of participant observation, interviews, and archival research, I will explore how collaborative datawork transforms what counts as evidence in public health infrastructure, enabling health professionals (and scholars) to envision adolescent mental health otherwise. By both examining and contributing to collaborative datawork that illuminates socio-political arrangements often obscured by quantification, this project advances the anthropology of the U.S., health systems research, and interdisciplinary studies of expertise.