Go Back

Text Box: Knowledge from the Margins: Speaker & Abstract
Text Box: GIUNTA

“Toward Authentic   Diversity in Medicine:           Cultivating               Professionals of      Practical Wisdom”

Harr, Bridget: University of California, Santa Barbara

Scientific and medical knowledge of human difference and associated disparities in health and illness both inform and are informed by popular understandings of race and disease.  These discourses do not simply reflect or reify race, rather they produce racial difference, as persons and populations become understood, experienced, and treated as separate and distinct.  Though science may be an iterative process where revision and rupture are part of the norm, scientific knowledge permeates and persists in public policies and popular culture, which may reproduce, recuperate, or refashion discredited or outmoded knowledge of race and disease.  The persistent use of race as a category of analysis in genetic research despite the heralding of the human genome as confirmation of the nonexistence of biological races, for example, demonstrates the slippage between, and co-constitution of, scientific and social categories.  Drawing on Charles Briggs’ concept of communicability, which calls attention to the transitivity and mutual transformation of social and scientific discourses, I seek to elaborate the processes of recognition and rejection of biomedical knowledge, including how changes in the understanding of and response to racial health disparities occur.  I focus on community mobilizations that raise challenges to expert knowledge by identifying the risks of and interrelationships between structural racism and racial science in considering their health and wellbeing. Studying racial justice movements and their challenges to prevailing expert knowledge reveals how members of the public participate in the construction and contestation of racial, scientific, and medical knowledges.  These struggles over meaning at the intersections of race, science, and medicine are the topic of this presentation.

“Resisting the              Reification of Racial    Difference: How Racial Justice Movements    Contest and Re/Construct Biomedical Knowledge of Race” and Disease”

Text Box: HARR