Dr. Holmes is a cultural and medical anthropologist and physician whose work focuses broadly on social hierarchies, health disparities, and the ways in which perceptions of social difference naturalize and normalize these inequalities. Dr. Holmes is currently investigating social hierarchies and health disparities in the context of US-Mexico migration as well as the ways in which these inequalities become understood to be natural and normal. This project draws on approximately eighteen months of full-time participant-observation, during which time Dr. Holmes migrated with undocumented indigenous Mexicans in the United States and Mexico, picked berries in Washington State, pruned vineyards in central California, harvested corn in the mountains of Oaxaca, accompanied migrant laborers on clinic visits, and trekked across the border desert into Arizona. Concurrently, he is conducting research into the processes through which medical professionals learn to perceive and respond to social difference. In addition, Dr. Holmes is exploring new mixed qualitative and quantitative research into the social, cultural, and political processes producing high HIV death rates among specific groups of people, notably homeless people, ethnoracial and sexual minorities, and immigrants. This new project addresses the ways in which macro political economic structures and social categories affect individual behavior and vulnerability.
Research Expertise and Interest
immigration and migration, medical anthropology with foci on social theory and ethnography, social studies of medicine and science, social difference related to race, social difference related to socioeconomic status, social difference related to citizenship, social difference related to gender, social difference related to sexuality, the naturalization and normalization of social hierarchies and health disparities, social suffering and symbolic violence, urban and rural Latin America and North America, population health with focus on global health, population health with focus on health disparities, population health with focus on social determinants of health