Dr. Smith-Oka is a cultural and medical anthropologist who specializes on the effect of institutions (medical, economic, development) on the behavior and choices of marginalized populations, especially women. She currently has three projects: (1) an investigation of the transmission of knowledge and attitudes to medical students in Mexico; (2) an analysis of renewed perceptions of indigeneity among college-educated indigenous youth in eastern Mexico; and (3) an investigation into the effects of obstetric violence in Mexico and Kenya.
Recent publications include:
2019 V. Smith-Oka and M. Marshalla. Crossing Bodily, Social, and Intimate Boundaries: How Class, Ethnic, and Gender Differences in Mexico are Perpetuated in Medical Training. American Anthropologist. DOI:10.1111/aman.13174
2018 J. Oluoch Aridi, V. Smith Oka, E. Milan, and R. Dowd. Exploring Mistreatment of Women during Childbirth in Dandora, Kenya: Experiences and Perceptions of Women and Healthcare Providers. Reproductive Health 15:209 (14 pages), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-018-0643-z.
2015 V. Smith-Oka. Microaggressions and the Reproduction of Social Inequalities in Medical Encounters in Mexico. Social Science & Medicine 143: 9-16.
2013 V. Smith-Oka. Shaping the Motherhood of Indigenous Mexico. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.
Select Courses: Gender and Health, Anthropology of Reproduction