Post-Grant Reports


Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant Report

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Biological and Physical Anthropology | Digestive System Diseases | Diseases | Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social Media


In the spring of 2015, I received funding to hire two collaborative researchers to work with me on my ethnographic research into celiac disease. Because there was a shortage of available advanced students, I hired two rising sophomore anthropology majors: Elizabeth Stoeger and Solveig (Soli) Gustafson.

Because they had not yet been through our methods course, early in the summer we focused on qualitative methods training and on laying the foundation for recruiting study participants. Although Elizabeth and Soli conducted some interviews, the bulk of their research was conducted online and focused on a few questions related to a paper I was planning to give at the American Anthropological Association Meetings in November 2015. Primarily they examined online (e.g., blog, Twitter, other social media) discussions of: a) the communion wafer as a problem for those avoiding gluten, b) how the ‘gluten intolerant’ are discussed by those with celiac disease, c) how people with celiac disease respond to jokes mocking gluten intolerance, and d) various vocabulary, particularly ‘glutard,’ as used in social media.

I have plans to use all of the research in future projects, but within the six months since they completed their research I’ve used their research on ‘glutard,’ as well as framing of non-celiac gluten intolerance in celiac discourse, in the paper I gave at the American Anthropological Association Meetings in Denver in November 2015.


This research was conducted as part of a Linfield College Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant in 2015, funded by the Office of Academic Affairs.

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