Aline Gubrium

Aline Gubrium
University of Massachusetts Amherst | UMass Amherst · Department of Public Health

PhD

About

67
Publications
22,286
Reads
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1,448
Citations
Introduction
My Ford-Foundation funded "Hear Our Stories: Diasporic Youth for Sexual Rights and Justice" project uses participatory visual and digital methods to shape new conversations on youth sexuality. My NIH-funded "A Culture Centered Approach to Narrative Health Promotion" uses digital storytelling to rigorously map the mechanisms by which participants form culturally specific meanings of sexuality, sexual health, and wellbeing.
Additional affiliations
June 2014 - present
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2005 - May 2006
Spelman College
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (67)
Article
Full-text available
Background It is challenging to develop health promotion interventions created in collaboration with communities affected by inequities that focus beyond individual behavior change. One potential solution is interventions that use digital stories (DS). Digital storytelling (DST) is an opportunity for reflection, connection with others, and the elev...
Article
Precarious work has steadily grown in the United States since the rise of neoliberal policies. The continued expansion of this type of work has led to precarious employment as a recognized category within social determinants of health work and to a growing literature within public health research. African-American men are disproportionately vulnera...
Article
Low/no-income, African American men are disproportionally burdened by chronic disease resulting from a complex interplay of systemic, sociocultural, and individual factors. These disparities are related to poverty, racism, gender role strain, high levels of stress, low levels of physical activity, and malnutritious diet. Men of Color Health Awarene...
Article
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African-American men continue to bear a disproportionate share of the burden of health disparities, in general, and chronic diseases, in particular. The Men of Color Health Awareness (MOCHA) Moving Forward study seeks to determine the effectiveness of an innovative, community-driven program to improve the health and quality of life of low-income Af...
Article
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Background: Lifestyle interventions regularly rely on study staff to implement the intervention and collect outcomes data directly from study participants. This study describes the experiences of project staff in two randomized controlled trials of a postpartum lifestyle intervention to reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes in Latinas. Latinas a...
Article
The nexus of migration and family offers a conjuncture to enrich understanding of teen pregnancy and parenting. This article draws findings from a project centered on participant‐produced new media to reveal how young mothers negotiate reproductive health disparities. We focus on young mothers’ experiences of migration and movement, captured in loc...
Article
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AIM: A poorly understood challenge is why many women with opioid use disorder do not remain engaged with medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD; e.g., methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone) long enough to achieve sustained benefits. We aimed to identify barriers and facilitators that impact women's MOUD adherence. METHODS: We conducted in-person...
Article
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We currently see an interdisciplinary shift toward a “participatory turn” in health research and promotion under which community engagement, shared decision making and planning, and the use of visual and digital methods have become paramount. Digital storytelling (DST) is one such innovative and engaging method increasingly used in applied health i...
Article
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Purpose: There is a dearth of effective, evidence-based programs to reduce chronic disease in low-income African-American men. We report on the results of formative research in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded MOCHA Moving Forward project on factors identified by the participants to drive health disparities. Methods: Based on individu...
Article
The familiar story about young pregnant and parenting Latinas relies on commonsense logic about the timing of reproductive lives. We explore young mothers' own sense making, captured in local vernacular through participants' digital story depictions, our fieldnotes of digital storytelling workshop talk, and participants' follow-up interview reflect...
Article
Most visual culture related to early childbearing represents pregnant and parenting teen bodies as sites of fear and disgust. The embodied experiences of pregnant and parenting young women are almost completely ignored, which serves to marginalize voices, knowledges, and bodies. In this project, we use a participatory visual research approach, digi...
Article
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Substance use disorders (SUDs) are a growing problem for pregnant and parenting women. Woman-to-woman peer support may positively influence perinatal outcomes but little is known about the impact of such support on the women who are providing support. The purpose of this study was to describe experiences of addiction in pregnancy, recovery, and sub...
Article
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Drug scares have historically been created for a range of purposes and with a variety of effects in the United States. Moral panics evoked by these drug scares either support or challenge dominant American ideas about race, economics, and society. In the present study, we examined newspaper accounts of methamphetamine use in the Inland Pacific Nort...
Article
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African American men continue to bear a disproportionate share of the burden of disease. Engaging these men in health research and health promotion programs—especially lower-income, African American men who are vulnerable to chronic disease conditions such as obesity and heart disease—has historically proven quite difficult for researchers and publ...
Article
Full-text available
Digital storytelling workshops are increasingly being used to capture lived experiences and develop/disseminate health promotion messages for vulnerable and marginalized populations. Thirty female Latina teens of varied sexual/parity status produced digital stories of significant life experiences in a group context and then viewed and evaluated the...
Article
Full-text available
This article focuses on findings of a two-year pilot research study focused on addressing sexual and reproductive health inequities faced by adolescent women of Puerto Rican descent living on the mainland United States. Working with three groups of young women, in the pilot study we gathered ethnographic data in and around a group-based digital sto...
Article
Full-text available
Substance use disorder (SUD) is a growing issue nationally, and SUD in pregnancy has significant consequences for mothers and their children. This article describes findings from a pilot project that used digital storytelling as a mechanism for understanding substance use and recovery from the perspective of women in recovery from SUD in pregnancy...
Presentation
Full-text available
Breakout session with three presentations: 1. An ethics framework for digital storytelling as a multi-purposed public health method. Aline Gubrium, PhD, presenter. 2. Stakeholder engagement and ethical planning for digital storytelling: The MOCH Moving Forward Project. Louis Grahma, MPH, Dr PH, and Sarah Lowe, MPW, presenters. 3. Digital storytelli...
Article
Full-text available
Public health efforts focused on Latina youth sexuality are most commonly framed by the syndemic of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, a narrow and often heteronormative focus that perpetuates silences that contribute to health inequities and overlooks the growing need for increased education, awareness, and support for lesbian, ga...
Article
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Digital storytelling (DST) engages participants in a group-based process to create and share narrative accounts of life events. We present key evaluation findings of a 2-year, mixed-methods study that focused on effects of participating in the DST process on young Puerto Rican Latina’s self-esteem, social support, empowerment, and sexual attitudes...
Article
Full-text available
Digital storytelling (DST) engages participants in a group-based process to create and share narrative accounts of life events. The process of individuals telling their own stories has not been well assessed as a mechanism of health behavior change. This study looks at outcomes associated with engaging in the DST process for vulnerable youth. The p...
Article
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Predominant approaches to teen pregnancy focus on decreasing numbers of teen mothers, babies born to them, and state dollars spent to support their families. This overshadows the structural violence interwoven into daily existence for these young parents. This paper argues for the increased use of participatory visual methods to compliment traditio...
Article
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Since the 2003 call by the Institute of Medicine to educate undergraduates in public health, various models have emerged for incorporating public health into the liberal arts and sciences. One model is a professionalized public health major that uses core public health competencies to prepare a workforce of health professionals. A second model offe...
Chapter
This chapter discusses a digital storytelling project that combined aims to gain fine-grained understanding of, and address, sexual health inequities among Puerto Rican Latinas in the project community. The authors begin by introducing digital storytelling as a culture-centered approach for use in public health research and intervention. They then...
Article
Full-text available
Considerable efforts are being made to improve access to maternal health care in order to reduce maternal mortality rate in Ghana. However, the use of non-formal care during pregnancy and childbirth among women still remain high in some communities. In this study, we investigated factors influencing the use of nonformal health care by women during...
Article
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In a recent Editor's Choice column in the American Journal of Public Health, Northridge and Coupey(1) advocate the increased use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), specifically the intrauterine device and the implant, as a means to achieve reproductive health equity. They reference the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation, whi...
Article
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The University of Massachusetts Amherst is part of Five-Colleges Inc, a consortium that includes the university and four liberal arts colleges. Consortium faculty from the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the university and from the colleges are working to bridge liberal arts with public health graduate education. We outline four key...
Conference Paper
“Hear Our Stories” uses participatory media and strategic communications to explore how young parenting women living in Western Massachusetts experience and negotiate sexual health disparities. The project aims to recalibrate existing conversations about teen motherhood from stigmatizing young moms to promoting their sexual and reproductive health,...
Conference Paper
Often, the reproductive and sexual health issues that young people face are shaped by socioeconomic determinants and policies at the local level, including disparities in access to housing, education, food, and state-supported services as part of a local healthography that shapes their health and wellbeing. The U.S. cultural and political landscape...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This presentation explores ethical considerations related to the use of participatory visual and digital methods for multi-purposed public health work, including as a technique for data collection, advocacy, and strategic communications. I explore ethics through the lends of digital storytelling, using the Ford Foundation-funded Hear Our Stories: D...
Conference Paper
In this presentation, Aline Gubrium leads discussion on topics presented over the course of the day, with panel members (Graham, Hill, and Wexler) serving as panel members for an open question and discussion session with Institute participants.
Conference Paper
In the course overview I review the agenda for the day and provide background on the history and uses of digital storytelling methods in public health. I describe a narrative approach to health promotion, theoretical underpinnings to this approach (including narrative theory and culture-based approaches to health research and promotion), and situat...
Article
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Pregnant and parenting young women are simultaneously silenced and overrepresented by raced and classed social narratives on adolescent childbearing in the United States. These narratives posit teen childbearing as an unequivocal social, health, and economic problem, although some scholars and policy makers construct alternative narratives that foc...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the Ford Foundation-funded Hear Our Stories: Diasporic Youth for Sexual Rights and Justice project, which explores the subjective experience of structural violence and the ways young parenting Latinas embody and respond to these experiences. We prioritize uprooted young parenting Latinas, whose material conditions and cultural w...
Article
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Comprehensive sexuality education curricula that incorporate sex positive and integrated approaches go beyond a presentation of facts and strategies for prevention to emphasize the promotion of sexual subjectivity and wellbeing. A pilot sensual sexuality education program was planned, implemented and informally evaluated with young parenting women...
Article
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This article explores ethical considerations related to participatory visual and digital methods for public health research and practice, through the lens of an approach known as "digital storytelling." We begin by briefly describing the digital storytelling process and its applications to public health research and practice. Next, we explore 6 com...
Article
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Young Latinas living in the United States experience inordinate sexual and reproductive health outcome disparities. However, though prioritized as subjects for prevention, they are also often denied sexual agency. Purpose This article reports the results of a study conducted to examine young Latino/a participants' perspectives on communicating and...
Article
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The field of public health frequently issues calls for social justice, but it is not clear that everyone agrees on what this means or how to achieve it. To assess lay citizens' views on the relationship between justice and health, we conducted individual interviews with 19 young parenting women to hear and discuss their thoughts about the causes of...
Book
Introduction -- Participatory visual and digital research in theory and practice -- Participatory digital research ethics -- Photovoice research -- Participatory film and videomaking -- Digital storytelling -- Participatory GIS -- Participatory digital archives and exhibitions as research -- Opening up data analysis, writing, and research products...
Article
Full-text available
Using a positive youth development framework, this article describes how a 3-year digital storytelling project and the 566 digital stories produced from it in Northwest Alaska promote protective factors in the lives of Alaska Native youth and serve as digital "hope kits," a suicide prevention approach that emphasizes young people's reasons for livi...
Article
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To better understand how young Alaska Native (Inupiaq) people are creatively responding to the tensions of growing up in a world markedly different from that of their parents and grandparents, the pilot study examined youth-produced digital stories as representations of their everyday lives, values, and identities. Two hundred and seventy-one youth...
Article
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Few studies have explored women’s subjective experiences with Depo-Provera, in particular its impact on their sexual selves and everyday lives. Thirty-four (34) women were interviewed about their experiences using Depo-Provera and other methods of contraception, with interviews analyzed using a thematic narrative analysis approach. A key theme emer...
Conference Paper
Pregnant and parenting teens are the targets of numerous health education programs, but are rarely asked to offer their thoughts on issues such as the social determinants of health or the possibilities for social justice. Public health research and interventions aimed at this population are often focused narrowly on the prevention of future pregnan...
Article
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For young women, being “aggressive” is generally viewed as a negative identity and associated with bullying and interpersonal violence. Especially in a heteronormative context, sexually aggressive identities are not commonly associated with young women. Resulting negative perceptions or silences surrounding this possible sexual identity are directl...
Article
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Influenced by Cooke and Kothari's (2001)5. Cooke , B. and Kothari , U. 2001. Participation: The new tyranny?, London: Zed Books, Ltd. View all references suggestion that participation “remains a way of talking about rather than doing things” (p. 32), we question to what extent this is true in the public health funding process. Thus, the aim of th...
Article
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Strategies designed to address community health needs, and those of disadvantaged girls in particular, are more likely to be successful in supporting health and wellbeing if a humanistic perspective is taken. A humanistic health perspective should consider broader participant concerns, including those that are socially informed. A feminist perspect...
Article
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In this article, we briefly review neoliberal economic rationales used to inform educational reforms, juxtaposed with the function of public education as a public good. We then introduce a new participatory visual method grounded in a human rights education approach, digital storytelling. Digital storytelling can serve triple purposes: as a data co...
Conference Paper
Despite the progress made in some communities across the country in youth sexual health outcomes, data from Western Massachusetts shows ethnic disparities in rates of teen births, STIs and HIV, with a disproportionate impact in Latino communities. The ways that Latino/a youth learn about their bodies and conceptualize their gender identitiesand how...
Article
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New visual technologies are changing the ways that anthropologists do research and opening up new possibilities for participatory approaches appealing to diverse audiences. Participatory digital methodologies featured in this special issue include digital storytelling, Photovoice, interactive multimedia as new media ethnography, participatory digit...
Article
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Technology…is not simply an adjunct to business-as-usual; it becomes a defining quality of our culture as researchers. As such, we might do well to devote more of our energies to studying ourselves as we study others (Tedlock 2005). In other words, we need to turn our observational skills on the encounters we ourselves create; we must observe not o...
Article
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Aline Gubrium, a young White woman teaching Introduction To Comparative Women's Studies at a historically Black women's college, and Tjazha Mazhani, a young Black woman who has taken Gubrium's course, enact a play—about their multiple positions and perspectives (in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, age, and rank) in the pedagogical process of teachi...
Article
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Anthropologist Lila Abu Lughod's idea of “writing against culture” is the point of departure for deconstructing the image of the monstrous mother dominating portrayals of African American women who use crack cocaine. Aiming to “unsettle” the cultural stereotypes, this article presents the narrative of an African American woman who has used crack, i...
Article
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This paper is inspired by recent trends in narrative research that orient to the meaning-making actions of those involved in describing the life course. Applying concepts of narrative, discourse, and contrast, the complex meaning of growing up is presented by way of Lakeesha’s story, one of the 20 women interviewed for a project on African American...
Article
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Culturally appropriate measures are needed to analyze the effectiveness of HIV prevention interventions. An effective strategy to ensure the culturally appropriateness of measures is the inclusion of participants from the targeted community via participatory action research. Conducting the research process within the community is one method of maxi...
Article
Scholarly discussions of AIDS in South Africa fall into three categories: biomedical discourses (the most prevalent), socio-economic/political discourses (linking poverty and disempowerment to AIDS), and women’s empowerment strategies. These discourses set up the construction of women and men in different ways with relation to AIDS: biological disc...
Article
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In order to determine health perceptions, values, and behaviors of rural residents across diverse ages, races, educational levels, and genders, random telephone surveys of 184 residents were conducted in three North Central Florida counties. Survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results indicated that the majority of residents def...

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Projects (2)
Project
In this paper we explore a familiar concept, the life course, from young parents’ perspectives on surviving, getting by, and moving forward. We investigate how a “strange” method like digital storytelling serves as a tool of ethnographic research, which can be used to upend commonsense logics. The story-making also serves as a venue for solidarity building and action. The “Hear Our Stories” project uses digital storytelling as a sensory and multi-modal method to reveal how young expectant and parenting women experience and negotiate sexual health disparities. The project especially prioritizes diasporic, uprooted Latinas—whose material conditions and cultural worlds have placed them in tenuous positions. The aim is to recalibrate conversations through a reproductive justice orientation that connects sexual health to young women’s lived experiences in relation to local conceptualizations of value and ways across generations. In this presentation, we introduce the project, including its three components (research, training, and strategic communications). We then briefly review the digital storytelling process-as-research method and organizing tactic as applied in the project, and present key digital stories and related interview material that serve as exemplars of local sensibilities on value and ways. Key themes focus on the envisioned life course, including valuations of “doing” one’s life as marked by a politics of respectability, participants’ assessments of their own lives, and strategies used to endure.