Roberta Raffaetą

ROBERTA RAFFAETĄ is post-doc research fellow (Marie Curie) at the Department of Human Science and Sociology at Trento University (Italy). During her post-doc training she spent four months at Monash Melbourne University. In her PhD thesis she explores how different actors (patients, biomedical and alternative practitioners) make sense of allergy, analysing narratives from a critical and phenomenological perspective. Her dissertation deals with issues of medical pluralism, medicalization, embodiment and identity. Interest in medicalization and public health has continued through the study of paediatric vaccinations in Italy. In 2009, she started research on migration, working for Monash University on Chinese settlement in the city of Prato (Italy) and on processes of integration among second generation migrants. This experience motivated her to put migration studies into a dialogue with medical anthropology: she has since done research on female genital cutting in north-Italy; and, in her current fieldwork with an Ecuadorian community in Italy, she explores how the body, the senses and affect matter in processes of migration and for belonging. Within this ecological understanding of the migratory experience, Roberta has started to investigate the role of place/space for the health and wellbeing of migrants and their families. In the context of the working group Roberta is working together with Kristine Krause and Gabi Alex on a publication about transnational medical pluralism and is developing workshops on space and medical diversity.


Publications include:

(forthcoming, Autumn 2012) Conflicting sensory relationships. Encounters with allergic people. Anthropology & Medicine.

(forthcoming, June 2012) When ‘to choose’ is ‘to care’: the case of paediatric vaccinations. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, 2/2012.

(2011) The allergy epidemic, or when medicalisation is bottom-up. In: S. Fainzang and C. Haxaire (eds.): On bodies and symptoms. Anthropological perspectives on their social and medical treatment. Tarragona: URV Publicacions 59-77.

(2011) Understanding allergy: A review of relevant studies. Curare. Zeitschrift für Ethnomedizin und transkulturelle Psychiatrie - Journal of Medical Anthropology and Transcultural Psychiatry, 34(3).

(2011) Identitą compromesse. Cultura e malattia: Il caso dell'allergia [Compromised identities. Culture and illness: The case of allergy]. Torino: Ledizioni.