Social and Chemical Life in Mexico City

The most prevalent form of lead exposure in Mexico City today is culinary; lead glazed ceramic dishes that are prized within families. Lead glaze makes the dishes shine and the food taste sweeter, and the enormous ollas (pots) that hang on kitchen walls connect current generations to past and future family celebrations. What if anthropology could tell the broader story of what these pots do, and their effects, by intertwining their social and chemical lives? Our bioethnographic project, Mexican Exposures (MEXPOS), seeks to do just that; we insist that, to understand lead exposure and working-class life in Mexico City, we need to keep glaze, sweetness, celebrations, and toxicity together.

Chinese Medical Pulse Diagnosis

An analogy for biomarkers in medical anthropology research? Should anthropologists include biological measures in our research? Does it make our work somehow more legitimate or scientific when we do? Does including biology necessarily distract us from talking about complex social, historical, and cultural processes? In considering these questions, I began thinking about pulse diagnosis in […]

Municipal IDs as a Route to Public Safety and Well-Being for Immigrants

[pquote]I believe that the potential of municipal ID programs to increase inclusion and access to local residency warrants greater study, particularly by anthropologists.[/pquote]On a hot Wednesday evening in the bare bones community room of the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona, I gather with a small group of immigrant activists, community organizers, and their non-immigrant […]