Thomas Scott Hughes

Thomas Scott Hughes


Primary fields of research

Regions: Denmark, Scandinavia, Europe

Themes:  Disability/Impairment ¤ Welfare States ¤ Health Strategies ¤  Majorities/Minorities ¤ Ethnicity ¤ Intersectionality ¤ Family and Kinship ¤  Experience ¤ Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity ¤ Identity and Belonging

Current research

My PhD project investigates ethnicity and disability in the Danish Welfare State. In my master’s research, I looked at the social obstacles, coping strategies, paradigms of support, subjective dilemmas and issues of belonging at play in relation to Danish health and support services in the lives of ethnic minorities with severe mental illness. This project will continue in the same vein in its approach and aim, only now with a focus on of ethnic minority families with disabled members and an emphasis on subsequent insights into how to improve the efficacy of governmental health and social services in this arena. My work seeks to understand potential points of misunderstanding between the logics of welfare state and these individuals and families, and the factors at play therein in order to attempt to improve the relationship from both sides. The dynamics within these families and their relationship with and understanding of the Danish welfare state will be of key concern.

The project is funded by a grant from the Danish Ministry of Children, Gender Equality, Integration and Social Affairs and is supervised by Steffen Jöhncke and Susan Reynolds Whyte at the Department of Anthropology of the University of Copenhagen.


2016     Medical Anthropology Advanced Course:  Anthropology of Disability, Master level course, Department of Anthropology University of Copenhagen, Co-taught with Arseli Dokumaci

2016     Medical Anthropology Advanced Course:  Biosocialities and citizenships, Master level course, Department of Anthropology University of Copenhagen, Co-taught with Ayo Walhberg

2016     Medical Anthropology Seminar for Applied Anthropology, Bachelor level course, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, A specialized seminar for Applied Anthropology course taught by Steffen Jöhncke

2016     Supervision of Master’s Theses for the 'Medical Anthropology Masters Program', Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Responsible for 4 students

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