National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy


Sue Estroff, Ph.D.

Sue E. Estroff, Ph.D.  is Professor in the Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, and research professor in the departments of Anthropology and Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  B.A., Duke University, magna cum laude, 1972; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1978 (Anthropology); Post Doctoral Fellow in Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin-Madison 1978-1981.  She joined the UNC faculty in 1982, and was Chair of the Faculty from 2000-03. 

In 1984, she received the Margaret Mead award from the American Anthropological Association and Society for Applied Anthropology.  She is past president of the Society for Medical Anthropology, and has been a visiting professor/lecturer at the University of Ulm, Germany, University of Toronto, and Tokyo University.  Research areas:  individuals with chronic illness and disabilities; cultural approaches to psychosis; sociocultural factors that influence the course of psychiatric disorders; disability income policy and practice; illness narratives; moral reasoning and the production of knowledge in qualitative scholarship; reconsidering the association of violence with persons with psychiatric disorders; and complexities of consent in maternal fetal surgery. 

Estroff teaches medical students, supervises dissertators in the Department of Anthropology, serves on thesis committees across campus, and teaches graduate seminars in methods and ethics.  She is a co-editor of The Social Medicine Reader and the second edition of the Reader.  Other recent publications include: Ironic Interventions?  Balancing Risks and Rewards in First Episode Psychosis via Qualitative Inquiry (in press), ‘No Other Way to Go’ Pathways to Disability Income Among Persons with Severe, Persistent Mental Illness; Whose Story Is It Anyway:  Authority, Voice, and Responsibility in Narratives of Chronic Illness; and, The Influence of Social Networks and Social Support on Violence by Persons with Serious Mental Illness;  Risk Reconsidered:  targets of violence in the social networks of people with serious psychiatric disorders; The Cultural Calculus of Consent in Experimental Maternal Fetal Surger, Recognizing and Responding To Early Psychosis: A Qualitative Analysis Of Individual Narratives, and From Stigma to Discrimination:  An Analysis of Community Efforts to Reduce the Negative Consequences of a Psychiatric Disorder and Label.  Estroff has served as a consultant to the Carter Center’s Mental Health Stigma program, The Hogg Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, and is a member of the mental health services in specialty mental health settings review committee at NIMH.

Publications include:


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