Dr. Lisa Hardy | Community-Engaged Medical Anthropology
In March of the pandemic, I immediately started interviewing people by phone about what they were going through. Anthropologists study how humans deal with the world around them including crises like the one we have all been living through for the past year. I knew that social scientists would be a crucial part of a larger picture of pandemic response alongside epidemiologists, virologists, medical doctors, and others.
Who is involved?
By May this research had already grown into a larger project. I secured two internal grants to help grow the project (thanks to NAU Office of the Vice President and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) and connected the project to NAU Anthropology’s Social Science Community Engagement Lab (SSCL) which I created and Direct with Co-director Dr. Leah Mundell. We now include faculty partner and Professor of Politics and International Affairs Dr. Eric Otenyo, Librarian Amy Hughes, sociology graduate student Angelica Sanchez, anthropology graduate student Vince Pruis, MA graduates Kevin Shaw and Kayla Torres Morales, a large team of international researchers representing nine countries, and social media group CoRecovered support.
What do we do?
Our research group continues to conduct interviews and develop and collect questionnaires on how people across the United States are dealing with the pandemic. This includes a deep dive into people’s challenges and struggles as well as the ways they are dealing with health and well-being during this time. So far we have conducted over 60 interviews over the phone, lasting between 1 and 2 hours. We have transcribed all of the interviews and read the transcripts carefully to identify common experiences. We have also collected over 1,000 questionnaires from people living in the United States that we compare with data from nine other countries about similar topics including depression, anxiety, well-being, and trust in political and institutional supports during COVID-19.
Where can you learn more?
I am passionate about this project because we have the opportunity to contribute to a rapidly growing conversation about how the world deal with this pandemic. We want to share our research as quickly as possible in many different forms as the pandemic continues on.
So far we have responded to the pandemic by publishing findings in multiple news and academic venues including two articles The Conversation about pandemic xenophobia and tribal responses to COVID-19 with collaborator Dr. Gwen Saul and current MA student Sonja Smith, and Department Chair Dr. Kerry Thompson, and I wrote about contagion and familiarity in STAT. We have been featured in the NAU News, and again here, Science Daily, KNAU, and on a GovExec Daily podcast with Dr. Kerry Thompson. I wrote about perception of the virus and inequality in Medical Anthropology and City & Society. We currently have three additional manuscripts and a book under review, and you can hear my upcoming interview this week on KNAU about how people are confusing relationships for safety from contagion. Our goal is to learn about challenges and supports during this crisis and contribute in real time to keeping people safe while also thinking long term about preparedness for future crises.
Follow us on social media and check back in regularly to learn about what we find. You can also contact us if you’d like to get involved with research or participate in surveys and interviews. Contact the lab at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the lab on Twitter @SocialScienceC6Learn more about Dr. Hardy’s Social Science Community-Engagement Lab