BECKER, GAY / Anthropology / Researchers

International Center for Scientific Research

Researchers

Anthropology / BECKER, GAY

beckeritsa.ucsf.edu

Position

Research Anthropologist at the Institute for Health & Aging, Professor in Residence in the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Medical Anthropology, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, USA.

Research interests

Medical anthropology, illness experience, reproductive technology, gender, aging and the life course, disruption, health of ethnic minorities, health inequities, narrative theory.

Dr. Becker's research has been conducted in the United Sates and is predominantly ethnographic. The main theme of Dr. Becker's research is disruption to life, the process by which people acquire and live with health conditions that create unforeseen paths in the course of life. She has conducted research on chronic and disabling conditions, reproductive health, old age, and health and ethnicity. Her theoretical interests include cultural phenomenology and narrative theory. Her current research interests include: gender, transnationality, age and the life course, poverty and structural inequality, illness experience, ethnicity, technology and consumption, and reproductive health problems. Her most recent works include Disrupted Lives: How People Create Meaning in a Chaotic World (1997, California).


Specific research projects include the following :

1) Ethnicity, Gender, and Age:
Dr. Becker is principal investigator of "Cultural Responses to Illness in the Minority Aged, a ten-year Merit Award funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), 1993-2003 (Yewoubdar Beyene, Co-Investigator). This study examines the daily life experience of people age 50 and over who have chronic illnesses in four ethnic groups: African Americans, Filipino Americans, Latinos, and Cambodian Americans. This study has a sample of 250 people. The research methods are qualitative and ethnographic. Among the publications to come out of this study to date is: Becker, G. et al., Knowledge and Care of Chronic Illness in Three Ethnic Minority Groups, Family Medicine 30(3):173-8, 1998. Several other studies are currently underway, of which the most recent is a study of uninsured ethnic minorities who are chronically ill.

2) Reproductive Health: Dr. Becker has previously been funded by NIA to study the experience of infertility. Together with Robert Nachtigall (P.I.), she is currently studying donor insemination and donor egg technologies and the decision-making process about disclosure after the birth of a child conceived with donor gametes. Becker's work on infertility is reported in Healing the Infertile Family (1997, California), and The Elusive Embryo: How Women and Men Approach the New Reproductive Technologies (2000, California), and in various publications with Nachtigall.

Prizes and awards

2001 Robert B Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology (American Anthropological Association)

Publications

Books and Monographs:

2000 The Elusive Embryo: How Women and Men Approach New Reproductive Technologies, University of California Press.

1997 Becker, G. Disrupted Lives. Berkeley: University of California Press.

1997 Becker, G. Healing the Infertile Family. Updated Edition with new introduction and new material. Berkeley: University of California Press.

1990 Becker, G. Healing the Infertile Family. New York: Bantam Books.

1986 Ainlay, S., Becker, G. and Coleman, L. (Eds.). The Dilemma of Difference: A Multidisciplinary View of Stigma. New York: Plenum Press.

1981 Becker, G. The Disability Experience: Educating Health Professionals About Disabling Conditions. Sacramento, CA: California State Department of Rehabilitation.

1980 Becker, G. Growing Old in Silence. Berkeley: University of California Press; Paper, 1983.


Selected Articles:

Becker, G., Beyene, Y., and Ken, P., Health, Welfare Reform, and Narratives of Uncertainty Among Cambodian Refugees. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. (forthcoming)

Becker, G. and Beyene, Y., Narratives of Age and Uprootedness Among Older Cambodian Refugees. Journal of Aging Studies. (forthcoming)

Becker, G., Beyene, Y. and Ken, P., Memory, Trauma, and Embodied Distress: The Management of Disruption in a Cambodian Refugee's Story. Ethos. (forthcoming)

2000 Becker, G: The Elusive Embryo: How Women and Men Approach the New Reproductive Technologies. University of California Press.

2000 Becker, G., Beyene, Y., Cuizon-Canalita, L. Immigrating for Status and Late Life: Effects of Globalization on Filipino American Veterans. Journal of Aging Studies.

1998 Becker, G., Beyene, Y., Newsom, E. M., and Rodgers, D. V., Knowledge and Care of Chronic Illnesses in Three Ethnic Minority Groups. Family Medicine, 30:173-178.

1998 Janson, S., Becker, G., Reasons for Delay in Seeking Treatment for Acute Asthma: The Patient's Perspective. Journal of Asthma. 35:427-435.

1997 Becker, G. Disrupted Lives. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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