2021  Honors Thesis Projects:

Structural Vulnerabilities and Political Economy

Image by Devi Puspita Amartha Yahya

Posters under this theme address the crucial structural determinants of health linked to global frameworks of labor and exploitation, militarization, and looming gender inequities, that affect the distribution of health and wellbeing in the Global South and Global North.

Socioeconomic and Cultural Factors that Increase Mexican Women's Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

by Chelsie Hernandez

Click here for Chelsie's Research Abstract

The Economic Empowerment of Women- A Tool For Creating Healthier Communities in South Asia

by Mihiri Kotikawatta

Click here for Mihiri's Research Abstract

Sex Trafficking within the United States: How the Patriarchal Society Fuels the Industry

by Alexis Plazola

Click here for Alexis's Research Abstract

Military Might: The Impact of American Exceptionalism and Militarism on Domestic and International Health and Fatality

by Siddhi Salunke

American exceptionalism is a sociolpolitical ideology that has contributed to the rise of militarism and police violence, both inside and outside of the United States’ borders. It has long since fed the idea that America is a morally superior entity and is used in American propaganda to endorse and justify American involvement in foreign affairs. As a result, America has consistently increased its military budget and militarized its police forces; in the United States, these policies have caused negative health consequences in the form of lethal policing, police homicides, and political violence. Outside of its borders, American militarism informs the military budgets and policies of developing countries, often tying the condition of foriegn aid to military expenditures. The enforced spending on military equipment often exceeds economic growth in developing countries and contributes to the oppressive atmosphere and negative health consequences in regions undergoing conflicts or actively trying to heal from a past conflict. Military spending also divests resources from important welfare spending and health care infrastructure that is important to improving the health outcomes of populations inside and outside the United States. This paper aims to understand how the nationalistic sociopolitical ideology of American exceptionalism can contribute to negative health consequences as a result of American militarism. It argues that these ideologies continue to perpetuate infrastructural frameworks that have resulted in American militarism becoming a public and global health crisis. In order to reduce military and police violence across the globe and improve the health of populations negatively and disproportionately impacted by militarized violence, excess military and police force should be reframed and approached from a public and global health perspective, creating law enforcement and military solutions that use proven interventions rather than criminal procedures.