Research

My research interests include culture, inequality, gender, sexuality, race, global and transnational sociology, and qualitative methods. I have done research in the U.S. and Latin America.

Intimacy & Identity in a Transnational Context

My dissertation project, “Surfing Desire: Transnational Romance, Identities, and Fantasies,” is an ethnography based in Máncora, Peru. Máncora is a small coastal town that has experienced rapid growth as a tourist destination, but that contends with high levels of socio-political and economic informality and precarity. In Máncora, I study the relationships that have emerged between a group of local men and foreign women, and the complex dynamics that underpin these relationships. My dissertation explores three key themes: the emergence of a unique masculine subculture on the beach where the men worked and met their partners, the economic and gendered dynamics that informed women’s desire for travel and intimacy, and the role of fantasy in these relationships and in how people in Máncora imagine future possibilities for themselves.

While conducting research in Peru, I was a Visiting Researcher at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, Económicas, Políticas y Antropológicas (CISEPA).

Culture & Networks in Academia

For this project, I examined how networks impact professional outcomes in academia, specifically for those with a marginalized identity within the academy. I interviewed 39 tenured or tenure track faculty members at two universities, one private research intensive (“R1”) university, and one teaching focused public college. I also collected network data from participants through a survey that evaluated their personal and professional networks.

In an in progress paper, I draw from these interviews to examine the processes that contribute to cultural and social closure in academia, and the strategies that marginalized faculty utilize to navigate these closures. This paper aims to help us to gain a deeper understanding of the persistence of inequality in academia.

Related Publication: Hidalgo, Anna. “Social and Cultural Closure and the Persistence of Inequality in Academia” (In Progress)

Qualitative Methodology

I am interested in exploring the boundaries and practices of qualitative research methods, and the need for more flexible and creative approaches and methods to support researchers as they carry out their work within an expanding and shifting interactional terrain, and in the face of personal and collective disruptions. This is a particularly salient issue for ethnographers, as our methods often call for close interaction and engagement with others. For example, in a paper co-authored with Shamus Khan, I explore how ethnographers might approach the challenge of conducting research in times of crisis, specifically during Covid-19.

HIV

Prior to beginning my doctoral studies, I worked in public health research with a focus on HIV/AIDS. At the Fenway Institute, I collaborated with an interdisciplinary research team to implement clinical trials for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Adolescent Trials Network (ATN). ATN is a national network that conducts preventative and therapeutic research with HIV-infected and HIV-at-risk pre-adolescents, adolescents, and young adults. Alongside my regular duties as a member of the research team, I also administered HIV tests and conducted pre- and post-test counseling; revitalized and coordinated the institutional Youth Community Advisory Board (YCAB); and, engaged in Community Based Participatory Research (CPBR) through Connect2Protect, an initiative that sought to mobilize communities to examine the root causes of HIV among young people and address them through long-term structural change objectives.

Additionally, as a Behavioral Surveyor at the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts I worked on the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Study (NHBS), a joint project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. I conducted on-site and face-to-face surveys with populations labeled ‘high risk’ in order to assess demographics, social and sex networks, sexual risk, drug and alcohol use, and access to HIV treatment and prevention services.

Related Publication: White Hughto JM, Hidalgo A, Bazzi A, Reisner S, Mimiaga M. 2016. “Indicators of HIV-risk resilience among men who have sex with men: A content analysis of online profiles.” Sexual Health 13(5): 436-443. doi: 10.1071/SH16023

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