Britt Dahlberg


Dissertation: (working title): Envisioning Post-Industrial Futures: Community Activism and Government Environmental Health Science

Anticipated graduation: May 2015

Envisioning Post-Industrial Futures examines the social, scientific, and historical factors shaping which concerns are deemed worthy of public attention during environmental risk assessment, and by extension which futures are deemed possible and worth investing in. The project uses participant-observation, interviews, and document analysis to track how residents, government scientists, and developers each read the potential and risk in land at an asbestos waste site in Ambler, Pennsylvania. I show how risks are found and shaped in practice and argue that community activism and environmental health assessments draw upon and alter local understandings of place, community, and community health, thus shaping the terms of social belonging and community formation in the future “revitalized” spaces.

For more information see:
-  “students’ works in progress” page:

Teaching Areas:

Medical Anthropology
Cultural Psychiatry
Mixed Methods Research, Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis

Research Interests:

Anthropology of medicine and science, with a focus on environmental risk, race, and class, and psychiatric diagnosis and aging, in the contemporary United States. Intersections between Anthropology, STS, Public Health, and Environmental Health.


“Finding & Forming ‘The Community’ of a Contaminated Site: Reflections for the EPA Community Involvement Process”.  Britt Dahlberg. NNEMS Report Written for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). August 2013.

“Studying Unformed Objects: Reflections on how an ethnography of science takes shape”; Britt Dahlberg. Invited submission for Society for Cultural Anthropology’s FieldNotes series online, with Kathleen Stewart (U Texas), Amy Moran-Thomas (Princeton), and Michelle Murphy (U Toronto),  July 2013:

Fieldnotes Series Introduction

Studying Unformed Objects

“Mapping disaster: Contesting boundaries of a hazardous space, and of “the problem” itself.” Britt Dahlberg. Special Issue of Anthropology News : 53(2). February 2012.

Peer Reviewed Articles:

“Shared Conceptualizations and Divergent Experiences of Counseling Among African American and White Adults”. Jin H. Joo, Marsha N. Wittink, Britt Dahlberg. (2011)  Qualitative Health Research. 21(8):1065-1074.

“How Women Conceptualize Urinary Incontinence: A Cultural Model.” Christine Bradway, Britt Dahlberg, Frances K. Barg. (2010)  Journal of Women’s Health 19(8):1-9.

“Bridging psychiatric and anthropological approaches to the study of lay notions of distress: The case of “nerves” in the United States.”  Britt Dahlberg, Frances K. Barg, Joseph J. Gallo, Marsha N. Wittink. (2009)  Ethos 37(3):282-313.

“Older patients’ views on the relationship between depression and heart disease.” Hillary R. Bogner, Britt Dahlberg, Heather F. de Vries, Eileen M. Cahill, Frances K. Barg. (2008)  Family Medicine 40(9):652-7.

“How older adults combine medical and experiential notions of depression.” Marsha N. Wittink, Britt Dahlberg, Crystal Biruk, Frances K. Barg. (2008). Qualitative Health Research 18(9): 1174-1183.

Book Chapters:

 “Funding and publishing integrated studies: Writing effective mixed methods manuscripts and grant proposals.” Britt Dahlberg, Marsha N. Wittink, Joseph J. Gallo. (2010)  In Handbook on Mixed Methods Research, Second Edition. Sage Publications. p 775-802.