BiographyDr. EJ Sobo, Professor and Chair of Anthropology, San Diego State University (SDSU), is a sociocultural anthropologist specializing in health, illness, and medicine. Her most recent work concerns parents’ use of cannabis for children with intractable epilepsy; alternative education and healthy child development; and pediatric vaccination. She is currently part of a nationwide participatory action research initiative focused on community-based capacity building for an equitable and effective COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
A longstanding member of the editorial boards of Anthropology and Medicine, Medical Anthropology, and Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Dr. Sobo is a prolific author herself, having written 10 books and numerous peer reviewed articles; she also has co-edited three essay collections. Her work has been reported on in media such as the New York Times, LA Times, and New Yorker, and she has been featured on NPR (see ‘Media,’ below).
Currently Section Convener for the 42 specialized 'sections' of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and a member of the AAA's Executive Board, Dr. Sobo is also Past President of the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA). She also has in the past been co-chair of the Committee on Public Policy (CoPP) for the AAA, on the board of the AAA's Anthropology of Childhood and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG), and a member of the Medical Committee of the Royal Anthropological Institute in the UK.
Dr. Sobo earned her Ph.D. at UCSD (1990) and received post-doctoral training in medical anthropology at Case Western Reserve University (1991-1993). She has been a faculty member at the University of Durham in the UK, New Mexico State University, and the University of Arizona. She has worked in clinical trials as well as in hospital settings (i.e., for Children’s Hospital San Diego, and with the Veterans Health Administration). She also had done extensive consulting.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Areas of expertise include childhood and child health, biomedical and other medical/health cultures, alternative medicines (cannabis included), vaccination selectivity (aka vaccine confidence, hesitancy), conspiracy theories, organizational and communication issues in healthcare, health-related stigma and identity, risk perception, and qualitative methods (including both ethnographic and rapid assessment methods).