Janelle Taylor

Professor and Chair, Anthropology

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Janelle S. Taylor is a medical anthropologist on faculty in the Department of Anthropology, who uses anthropological concepts and ethnographic methods to explore illness and medicine as part of social life. Her research documents and analyzes the different ways that people dealing with illness make meaning, and how the meanings that they make matter in the world -- shaping the kinds of actions people take, the kinds of knowledge and technology they produce, and the kinds of bodies and lives and social relations they create. She has researched and written about a variety of topics relating to U.S. medical technology, medical education, and medical practice -- including fetal ultrasound imaging, medical decision-making at the end of life, ideas of 'culture' embedded in 'cultural competency' training, and the role of live simulations ("Standardized Patients") in clinical skills training, and questions of visibility, recognition, and care arising around elderly people with dementia. Her current research explores social relations of friendship and how these change following the onset of dementia.


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