Duncan researches the sociocultural and political economic aspects of health with particular focus on globalization and migration. Duncan's book about globalizing mental health practice and cultural change in Mexico was published in 2018 by Vanderbilt University Press. Duncan is currently conducting a collaborative 3-year National Science Foundation research project on Latinx immigrant health and healthcare seeking. Duncan volunteers with and serves on steering committees for multiple immigrant-serving organizations and frequently serves as an expert witness for asylum cases.
In the News
Investigates how an increasingly popular therapeutic modality, Family Constellation Therapy, functions both as a technology of the self (Foucault 1988) and a “technology of the social.”
Takes the ethnographic case of Family Constellations therapy in Oaxaca, Mexico, to demonstrate how a nonnative therapeutic practice articulates with local cultural frameworks to foster novel forms of therapeutic experience and sociality.
Explains the recent growth of Euroamerican-style therapies in the Oaxaca region. Analyzes this phenomenon of "psy-globalization" and develops a rich ethnography of its effects on Oaxacans' understandings of themselves and their emotions, ultimately showing how globalizing forms of care are transformative for and transformed by the local context.
Discusses how the most vulnerable populations lack access to mental health services as the Covid-19 pandemic taxes the country’s already-stressed healthcare infrastructure.
Examines experiences of returned migrants seeking mental health care at the public psychiatric hospital in Oaxaca, Mexico. Discusses that approximately one‐third of the hospital's patients have migration experience, and many return to Oaxaca due to mental health crises precipitated by conditions of structural vulnerability and “illegality” in the United States.
Analyzes the role of culture in global mental health practice and the implications of understanding mental health promotion as an economic development strategy, especially in contexts of multiculturalism.
Shows how the concepts of trauma and PTSD are mobilized as responses to social and political disturbances in global mental health practice, as well as how the PTSD diagnosis is rooted in gender ideologies in the Mexican case.
Draws on a community-wide study in rural Oaxaca, Mexico, and among Oaxacan migrants in California to examine migration’s impacts on mental health.