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Susan Reynolds Whyte

Susan Reynolds Whyte


Inspired by the philosophy of pragmatism and by the methods of ethnography, I do research and research training on contemporary social issues. Overall, I am concerned with attempts by persons and societies to secure well-being, with all the contradictions and uncertainties that entails. My work involves various forms of collaboration with colleagues in Denmark and Africa. For over two decades I have been involved in research capacity strengthening projects with universities in Uganda.

Regionally, I have done fieldwork in Tanzania, Kenya, and most extensively in Uganda.

Topical and analytical themes include:

  1. Lifeworlds and situated concerns: pragmatics and management of uncertainty in everyday life and social relations
  2. Perceptions and management of health: body and person, disability, chronic illness, relation of illness perceptions to treatment possibilities
  3. Composite health care systems, policy, and interventions: social technology and the differentiated situations of ‘target groups’, pharmaceuticals, care
  4. Generations and life courses: historical and genealogical generations, aging, time, and inter-subjectivity
  5. Changing human security: response to transformative historical events such as the AIDS epidemic and armed conflict in Africa

I am currently working in several multi-disciplinary projects:

  • Aging, Preventive Medication, and the Lifecourse,  under Centre for Healthy Aging (Copenhagen University)
  • Children and Medicine in Uganda (Makerere & Copenhagen Universities)
  • Changing Human Security: Recovery from Armed Conflict in Northern Uganda (Gulu, Aarhus, Southern Denmark, & Copenhagen Universities)
  • Governing Transition: Land and Trust in Northern Uganda  (Gulu, Aarhus,  & Copenhagen Universities)
  • Post-conflict Primary Health Care (Gulu, Southern Denmark, & Copenhagen Universities)
  • Platform for Stability, Democracy and Rights under the Building Stronger Universities  Programme (Gulu, Maseno, Tribhuvan  & Danish Universities)

In 2013 with colleagues from Denmark and Uganda, I am  completing a book manuscript on the first generation of AIDS survivors, entitled Second Chances, to be published by Duke University Press.

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