Bachelor of Arts
Comparative American Studies
Shelley Lee, Chair
Tuberculosis, TB, Asian Americans, Immigrants, Public health discourse, Transnationalism, Racialization, Public health
In this paper, I argue that while public health discourse on tuberculosis may reveal existent epidemiological trends in and among particular social groups, the discursive framing of this data unnecessarily racializes the disease. More specifically, public health discourse uses frameworks of "othering" and an imagined transnationalism to reflect but also refine and reinforce historicized stigmas of Asian Americans as non-normative, perpetual outsiders, and disease carriers. I assert that this discursive raciliazation of TB superficially constructs a causal link between Asian Americans and the incidence of TB in America and consequently results in significant social and political costs for many Asian Americans. Ultimately, I propose alternative frameworks for public health discourse on TB that might more effectively address the epidemiological problem and better avoid the structural costs experienced by Asian Americans and other marginalized groups.
Dellplain, Laura, "Yellow, in Peril: How Public Health Discourse on Tuberculosis (TB) Reveals, Refines, and Reinforces the Racial Stigmatization of Asian Americans" (2012). Honors Papers. 351.