Eva M. Garroutte *93

Ph.D. Dissertation: Language and Cultural Authority: Nineteenth-Century Science and the Colonization of Religious Discourse

Dept of Sociology
140 Commonwealth Ave
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 01760
Phone: 617-552-2078
E-Mail: eva.garroutte@bc.edu(link sends e-mail)
Job: At Boston College, I devote 25% of my time to teaching (one course per year) and 75% to research. My first book (Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America, University of California, 2003) examined issues of racial/ethnic identity in American Indian communities and proposed a new model for research in Native American Studies. Current work focuses on the medical communication needs of American Indian elders; recent articles appear in Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Aging and Health, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Journal of Applied Gerontology. A new book project aims to create a portrait of one an urban American Indian community through the life stories of its members. Recent accomplishments: I was promoted to associate professor with tenure in the Department of Sociology at Boston College in 2004. I accepted a simultaneous faculty appointment at the Native Elder Research Center at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 2005. I serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Native Aging and Health. I serve on the planning committee for the Smithsonian's Handbook of North American Indians. Since 2003, I have received grants from the National Institute on Aging in excess of $750,000. This funding supports health research that I carry out in consultation with the Cherokee Nation at tribally operated clinics in southeastern Oklahoma. The most recent funded project is described below: Project Title: Health Communication with American Indian Elders Abstract: The goal of this project is, for the first time, to use an objective measurement instrument to investigate patterns of communication characterizing interactions between American Indian elder patients and their health care providers. Consistent with recent models for medical communication, the project will investigate whether providers display bias by varying their communicative behavior according to their American Indian patients' cultural characteristics, and if American Indian patients (or patient subgroups) use distinctive communication norms. The project will then seek to relate observed patterns in patient and provider communication to patients' satisfaction and providers' "clinical uncertainty." Finally, the project will use the resulting information to design and target a health intervention aimed at improving medical communication with American Indian elder patients, with special attention to patient subgroups that may have special needs. The research plan involves extending a pilot study that collected data from both health care providers and patients at one Cherokee Nation tribal health clinic in the summer of 2001. Proposed data collection will occur at two additional tribal clinics. Personal news: I am married to Dr. Xavier Lopez. Ph.D. Dissertation: Language and Cultural Authority: Nineteenth-Century Science and the Colonization of Religious Discourse