Kathleen C. Oberlin
I am a doctoral candidate in Sociology at Indiana University-Bloomington. I received a BA (2005) and an MA (2007) in Sociology as well as a master’s certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Coming from Chicago, issues of place and space have always shaped not only my theoretical orientation, but also my methodological choices such as the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) tools to map and analyze a variety of social phenomenon—running the gamut of assessing the location of Chicago dog parks to, now, analyzing access and utilization of semi-rural health clinics.
At Indiana University I continue to examine the material considerations of place (built environment) and the social implications of space (communities and mean-making). In my dissertation research, I examine the role played by sites, such as museums, in the strategies and tactics of social movement organizations seeking to challenge the authority of mainstream science.
In a distinct yet related line of research, I assess the social determinants of health on the local level by working with a free health care clinic, Volunteers in Medicine Clinic- Monroe County. Recently I coupled my medical sociology research interests with the scholarship of teaching and learning. With my collaborators, I published methods for facilitators to use in order to encourage students to examine how one’s social positioning relates to the ways in which both individual choices and social structures shape one’s life chances.
Recent work has been funded by the American Sociological Association, the National Science Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council.