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Emily K. Brunson


Texas State University Applied Anthropology, Dr. Brunson, Cultural Anthropology Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Washington
Email: ebrunson@txstate.edu
Phone: (512) 245-6753
Office: ELA 237

Curriculum Vita

Research and Teaching Interests
medical anthropology, applied anthropology, qualitative methods, social network analysis, childhood vaccination, health care access, health disparities, health policy, health communication

Current Research
I am a medical anthropologist with training in cultural and biological anthropology as well as public health. My research focuses on health care access and decision-making, and particularly how policies, social structures (including class and racial inequalities), social networks and personal experience combine to produce health outcomes for individuals.

I am currently working on two research projects: an examination of people’s experiences living without health insurance in central Texas, and a study of community values regarding the allocation of scarce medical resources during emergencies (with colleagues from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security). In the next few years I plan to revisit my research on childhood vaccination. I am in the process of writing a grant proposal to study how U.S. parents’ decisions about their children’s vaccinations are developed over time.


Selected Publications and Blog Posts

Brunson EK, Mulligan J, Andaya EL, Melo MA, Sered S. 2018. Unrequited engagement: Misadventures in advocating for Medicaid expansion. American Anthropologist 120(3):601-609.

Brunson EK. 2017. “Texans don’t want health insurance”: Social class and the ACA in a red state. In Unequal Coverage: The Experience of Health Care Reform in the United States, pp. 177-202. H Castaneda and J Mulligan, eds. New York: NYU Press.

Brunson EK, Sobo EJ. 2017. Framing childhood vaccination in the USA: Getting past polarization. Human Organization 76(1):38-47.

Brunson EK. 2015. Identifying parents who are amenable to pro-vaccination conversations. Global Pediatric Health 2:1-7.

Brunson EK. 2013. How parents make decisions about their children’s vaccinations. Vaccine 31(46):5466-5470.

Brunson EK. 2013. The impact of social networks on parents’ vaccination decisions. Pediatrics 131(5):e1397-e1404.


Courses Taught

ANTH 1312: Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 3311: Disease and Society
ANTH 3325: Medical Anthropology
ANTH 3336/5336: Community Research Project
ANTH 4309/5309: Culture, Medicine and the Body
ANTH 5361: Field Methods in Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 5373: Graduate Seminar in Medical Anthropology