Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Health, Healthism, and the Discourses of McKinley Health Center
Author(s):Eguez, Pilar
McKinley Health Center
Abstract:This project aims to answer the following questions: Is “healthism” as an ideology of neoliberal politics present in the discourses of McKinley Health Center at UIUC? If so, what is the supporting evidence? How is this ideology (or its shifts and/or transformations) reflected in the evolution of services and health policy of McKinley in the past years or decades? How is the marketing strategy of McKinley designed and what elements can be identified to be part of the mentioned ideology? What components of the students/ faculty/ McKinley staff’ discourses might structure a particular “cultural model” around the notion of health? On the basis of two interviews and textual discourse analyses, the research shows that there are conflicting positions at the UIUC campus with respect to the health care service. On one hand, the Graduate Employee’s organization perceives McKinley health services as limited and demands greater access and quality of health care. On the other hand, popular or common perceptions about health care on campus are marked by apathy and unquestioned acceptance of McKinley health services. Health is just one commodity that appears to be fully available as “option,” but which is actually restricted to a limited group of people who can afford it. The project includes a proposal for continued research.
Issue Date:2006-12-15
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-08-22

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