Defending "Saving Babies?" against critics (played by Jeremy Freese) Photo: Sara Shostak

Defending "Saving Babies?" against critics (played by Jeremy Freese) Photo: Sara Shostak

My research draws from medical sociology and science studies and uses ethnographic and historical methods to address key issues in the for-profit U.S. health care system. I have conducted research on medical technologies, health professions, death and dying, and population health. I am currently working on three major collaborative projects. With Pamela Prickett, I am doing a fascinating study of unclaimed deaths. We are interested in what happens in people's lives that they become unclaimed, how government agencies deal with their bodies and assets, and how certain groups step in to reclaim the unclaimed. This project is about the cultural work abandoned and forgotten dead bodies do in our society. Second, with UCLA colleague Tanya Stivers, I study the implementation of new genomic technologies from bench to bedside. This study also aims to bridge conversation analysis and ethnography. Third, Iddo Tavory and I continue our exploration of the work of Charles Sanders Peirce. This work has a methodological and a theoretical component where we explore semiotics as a methodological toolbox for ethnographers. In addition, I remain interested in social science research on standardization and community spillover effects of lack of health insurance. My goal is to conduct robust qualitative research that reveals the invisible benefits and costs of the U.S. health care system.