American Studies

Miriam Perales - Healthcare in the U.S.

During her last semester before graduating, Miriam Perales studied health seeking behaviors in the small community of Mae Sot, which lies at the border between Thailand and Myanmar. This experience coupled with her senior thesis research on curanderismo confirmed her decision to pursue a career in medicine to work specifically with communities of color that lack sufficient health services. Miriam is currently employed as a medical technician at Eye Physicians of the East Bay where she interacts with patients, works alongside optometrists and opthamalogists, and learns about ocular health complications and diseases. She is also applying to post-baccalaureate-pre-med programs with the ultimate plan of serving her community as a doctora.

Area of Concentration Courses

Anthropology 115: Introduction to Medical Anthropology
Chicano Studies 176: Chicanos and Health Care
ESPM 162: Bioethics and Society
Gender and Women's Studies 130AC: Gender, Race, Nation, and Health
Public Health 130AC: Aging, Health, and Diversity
Public Health 150D: Introduction to Health Policy and Management


Miriam Perales : - Have Women Healers Disappeared? : From Traditional Healing to Modern White Male Medicine (Class of 2017)

Miriam Peraless thesis explores traditional medicine through the lens of curanderismo, and critiques historic gender and racial dynamics that equate science with masculinity and whiteness and witchcraft with femininity and ethnic otherness. Using ethnographic interviews, Miriam also examines how traditional healers base their methods in the spiritual, psychological, and social needs of their patients.

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