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The inequality of disease

Rethinking diabetes: what drives it and who it affects
Join medical anthropologist Emily Mendenhall to explore how our background and life experience can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Event information

Date and time Tuesday 26 May, 6pm – 7.30pm
Location Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium (Google map)
The University of Sydney (Camperdown campus)
Accessibility Wheelchair access and hearing infrared system
Entry Free and open to all with online registrations essential

There is growing evidence that type 2 diabetes is interwoven with other health conditions and the realities of trauma, stress and marginalization. 

In Australia, First Nations people, and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups, experience a greater burden of the disease and challenges around its management compared to the rest of the population.

Why then, is there so little perspective from these communities within the fields of research, policy or the public consciousness?

As the Australian National Diabetes Strategy (2016-2020) draws to a close, there is a pressing need to re-evaluate current approaches to research and involvement with diverse communities who live with type 2 diabetes. New methods are needed in light of the spaces, social networks, health resources, and language practices in which type 2 diabetes is lived out, talked about and understood.

Visiting Professor Emily Mendenhall will explore how diabetes, in different parts of the world, is linked with other health conditions and with the socio-political realities of trauma, stress and marginalization. Professor Mendenhall will set the question of diabetes management into relief with dimensions of gender, class and social exclusion. Within the context of the School of Languages and Cultures’ research and engagement within Western Sydney, this talk will provide insights into benefits of cross-cultural qualitative research and community engagement, including in the context of migration and intercultural health.

Professor Alex Broom will provide a critical lens to examine the interconnections explored in Professor Mendenhall’s talk, one informed by his own work on the social context of chronic illness, suffering and the implications for care.

Professor Mendenhall is in Sydney as part of the Symposium "Diabetes and Migration: Research and Participatory Strategies in Western Sydney and Beyond", supported by School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney.

The speakers

Emily Mendenhall is a medical anthropologist who writes about how social trauma, poverty, and social exclusion become embodied in chronic mental and physical illness. She is an Associate Professor of Global Health in the Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA) Program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.  

Alex Broom is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, School of Social and Political Sciences. He is recognized as an international leader in sociology, utilizing highly innovative qualitative methodologies and social theory to provide novel understandings of the social, cultural, political and economic underpinnings of the key health challenges of the 21st Century. 

Event image credit: Photo by Rose Lamond on Unsplash

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