Department of Women's and Gender Studies University of Missouri Department of Women's and Gender Studies

Rebecca MartínezRebecca Martínez

Assistant Professor
phone: 573-882-0680

Becky Martínez, Assistant Professor in Women's and Gender Studies, has been teaching at MU since 2001 in the Department of Psychological Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine in an interdisciplinary program entitled Social Relations.

Her research interests include medical anthropology, Mexican immigration to the U.S., and Chicana feminist studies. Becky's research agenda consists of the interplay of four broadly defined areas with an emphasis on social class, race, and gender issues:

  1. U.S. Chicana/Latina Studies (identity, sexuality, and representation),
  2. transnational Latin American-U.S. migration (gendered immigration and theories of citizenship);
  3. medical anthropology (health access/inequalities, socio-cultural constructs of health/illness/disease particularly as they relate to women); and
  4. cultural/bodily/sexual politics and modernity.

Becky has conducted ethnographic research in Southern California on health beliefs among Mexican and Salvadoran immigrant women, Chicanas, and physicians. She was also a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Venezuela where she conducted her dissertation field research on the social construction of medical knowledge related to cervical cancer and patient/doctor interactions in the treatment process for this disease. She examines the intersections of medicine, morality, and hygiene in social configurations of cervical cancer. She returned this summer (2008) to look at the political changes that have taken place since her original research – specifically in regards to the current emphasis on social medicine and the rejection of neoliberal policies – and how they may have impacted current understandings and representations of cervical cancer. She is currently working on a book about her work in Venezuela.

She is currently developing a new research project that will look at the intersecting impacts of gender, migration, and citizenship on the reproductive health beliefs and practices of Midwestern Latinas in the U.S.

Courses Taught

  • Psychology of Women
  • Chicana Latina Identities/Latinas in the U.S.
  • Policing the U.S. Borderlands: Gender, Sexuality, and Technology (Spring 09)


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Last modified: 19-May-2016