|The State of Maryland is rapidly changing
its population profile, with an unprecedented influx of immigrants from all
over the world. The research community has paid insufficient attention to
this growing sector of the population, and little is known particularly
regarding socio-economic interactions, impact on inter-ethnic relationships
at the neighborhood level, and the structure of opportunity available to
immigrants in the labor, health, and housing sectors of the economy. The
policy community, on the other hand, relying on population statistics that
undercount many invisible populations, has primarily focused on the social
problems created by the newly arrived, particularly as they put pressure on
some inadequately funded services.
proposes to build links to the research and the policy communities so that
policy issues can be researched to contribute to our knowledge-base of the
New American. Research will be conducted in Montgomery and Prince George’s
Counties in the state of Maryland. Projects conducted under this program
include Elderly Latinos and Retirement Experiences, Immigrant Women and
Work, Inside/Out: Growing Old in the United States (in collaboration with
the Center on Latino Initiatives, Smithsonian Institution), Immigrant
Community Museums (sponsored by the Center for Heritage Studies, UMCP), and
University Boulevard Ethnographic Mapping.
One major problem is access to healthcare among the
immigrant populations in the study area. In order to understand the types of
barriers to healthcare, it is necessary to understand the structure of
social interactions among stakeholders in the community. Specifically, the
program will examine 1. Health as social health, that is, health understood
within the context of labor, housing, and income issues. 2. Health with
respect to social inclusion, namely, studying the effects of internalized
social inequalities among immigrants on access to healthcare. 3. Health as
related to social interactions, that is, understanding how patterns of
interaction among community members from various backgrounds affect access
to health services. The research program utilizes ethnography, population
surveys and media analysis to understand access to healthcare from the
perspective of four stakeholders in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties:
immigrants, media, government agencies and non-governmental organizations.
The Program Director is Judith Freidenberg, Associate
Professor with the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland.
Her team includes undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of
disciplinary backgrounds who gain honorary mention or credit from a variety
of mechanisms (Undergraduate, Research Assistant Program, Honors Program,
and Experiential Learning Programs). The Program seeks community
partnerships in the field area, and collaborative arrangements with
researchers in the fields of immigration and healthcare in the D.C.
For further information about the Program, please call Dr.
Freidenberg at (301) 405-1420,
or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.