RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Area(s) of Expertise:
Cultural and Developmental Aspects of Racial Health Disparities
Elizabeth Sweet is a biocultural anthropologist researching cultural and developmental aspects of racial health disparities. She uses novel applications of mixed qualitative and quantitative methods in her work to operationalize the everyday social contexts of disease. In her dissertation research with African American youth in Chicago, she utilized ethnographic data and health biomarkers to explore how culturally salient experiences of stress and social position become embodied in adolescent cardiovascular risk. She is currently conducting a pilot project exploring pregnancy-related stressors for urban, low income African American women, and plans to investigate how these stressors are associated with gestational outcomes and maternal and infant health. While a Health and Society Scholar, Elizabeth continued to develop innovative applications of mixed-methods biocultural approaches. She focused on political economic dimensions of health disparities and how material consumption and status influence patterns of income inequality and health. She received both a Ph.D. in Anthropology and a Master of Public Health degree from Northwestern University in the spring of 2008.