SANA SANA: HEALING MODALITIES, COMMUNITY POWER, AND HEALTH DISPARITIES
Haverford College. Department of Anthropology
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Western medicine often invalidates and marginalizes the knowledge and health practices that come from low-income communities of color. This invalidation is dangerous as it negates the power of these communities and does not render them as producers of knowledge. Medical anthropology has attempted to highlight the knowledge and health practices of marginalized communities. However, in these explorations, feminist theory is often not used, and research does not move past describing the curing abilities the practices. These limitations lead to essentializing the practices of marginalized communities, not understanding their complexities, and ultimately othering their knowledge. My aim in this thesis is to push past these limitations. Through an ethnographic investigation with a Chicana feminist standpoint, I will conduct semi-structured interviews and a media analysis in order to explore the questions: how do migrant, low-income communities in Santa Ana take care of themselves and what impact do healing modalities have in their lives? I will also explore the relationship between healing modalities and health disparities. I hope to bring light to the importance of recognizing and not essentializing these healing modalities and how these healing modalities can inform us about the disparities, resilience, knowledge, and networks that exist in communities like mine.