Harris – Sociology

Joseph Harris
Options: Volunteer Basis, Potential for UROP Funding, Potential for Work-Study Funding, Potential for Academic Credit

I am looking for student researchers with an interest in global health, international development, social policy, political science or sociology to assist in three different projects. My work is comparative and historical and examines why and how a number of countries in the developing world are institutionalizing universal health care systems – which is something of a paradox given the cost of healthcare and the scarcity of medical expertise and financing in the developing world. I am revising some recent work into article and book formats and am looking for assistance in a number of areas as I do that. I have a professional background that has involved consulting with organizations like the World Bank and UNDP, and I am very happy to serve as a mentor for students interested in careers with international organizations or NGOs or further graduate work.

The first project explores the history, development, and politics of universal healthcare programs in Thailand and Brazil, respectively known as the 30-baht (or Universal Coverage) program in Thailand and the Unified Health System in Brazil. As I move my book manuscript towards completion, I am looking for translation assistance for related materials in both Thai and Portuguese and am therefore looking for students with fluency in either language to assist on this project. (Note: I speak Thai and would enjoy the opportunity to practice regularly with Thai speakers). Students interested in applying need not be fluent in both languages but should be in one of them.

The second project examines the relationship of the recent movement towards universal healthcare to the sociological and political science literature on the developmental state. Here, I am looking for someone with excellent writing and research skills to help do targeted research on specific cases and/or compile an annotated bibliography on the relevant literature. For this project, no special language capacity (other than English) is required.

The third project explores the relationship between global health and medical sociology. In this project, the student will play a role in helping to understand the degree to which work on global health is present in the literature on medical sociology. The student will gain experience in content analysis and be involved in coding a number of written documents related to global health and medical sociology.

These positions offer students the opportunity to build their resume through substantive research opportunities and to develop a long-term relationship with a mentor who has supported the career development of a number of students previously. If a qualified student is interested in contributing to more than one of these projects, I would be happy to explore ways to involve him or her in aspects of them. While I will do my best to cater to student interests (if students are interested in more than one project), time allocation will be subject to the needs of the projects.

Responsibilities related to the projects may include tasks in addition to those mentioned. Interested students should send a CV, short writing sample, and brief cover letter detailing your background and reasons for interest in the project(s) to josephh@bu.edu.