Kellogg Faculty Fellow Vania Smith-Oka is Associate Professor of Anthropology. Smith-Oka is a cultural and medical anthropologist who specializes in the effect of institutions on the behavior and choices of marginalized populations, especially women.
She has explored the impact of an economic development program on the reproductive lives and motherhood of indigenous women in eastern Mexico. From this research emerged her book, Shaping the Motherhood of Indigenous Mexico (Vanderbilt, 2013). She also researched the doctor-patient relationship in a maternity ward in the city of Puebla, particularly the role of space/place, notions of social and medical risk, and quality of care.
Her current research is investigating how skills, practices, and attitudes of medicine are transmitted to medical students. She is specifically addressing the process by which practices such as obstetric violence become prevalent across some societies.
Globalization; reproductive health; women's health; ethnobotany; formal and informal health systems
How marginal peoples around the world respond to the impact that globalization has on their health needs and local knowledge by looking at how the least powerful members of a community, i.e. women, are responding to this globalization.
Smith-Oka Named Inaugural Director of Medicine and the Liberal Arts Program
Oct 7, 2020
Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow Vania Smith-Oka, an associate professor of anthropology, has been named the inaugural director of the new Medicine and the Liberal Arts program at the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values.
In Mexico, Notre Dame medical anthropologist studies how and why some doctors foster a culture that discriminates against female patients
Feb 7, 2020
Making Research Plans a Reality in East Africa
Sep 8, 2018
In recent years, the Ford Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity has made major strides towards its goal of high-quality, community-based research in the developing world. In that endeavor, Regional Research Programs Manager for East Africa Jackline Oluoch-Aridi, who opened the program’s first field office in Nairobi five years ago, plays a key role.