The Paradis Lab is proud to celebrate the successful defence of Dr. Arija Birze, which occurred on August 14, 2019.
Dr. Birze’s dissertation aimed to answer the following very ambitious question: How does gender—a social marker—become a determinant of health? In other words: how do social phenomena make their way under the skin as biological phenomena, and influence health?
Her dissertation, titled “From Behind the Scenes to Under the Skin: The Social & Bodily Experiences of Stressful, Gendered Work in Police Communicators,” contains three empirical chapters, which will be published individually soon, and expertly combines physiological, survey, and observational data. They each study the interdependence of gender and hormonal processes, and show how actively gender is experienced. More than a dichotomous variable that classifies a person, gender is a structured experience that has important bio-hormonal consequences, which is measurable using the concept of allostatic load.
Dr. Birze forces us to think more dynamically and socially about health and gender, and we are certain that her innovative approaches will soon be expanded beyond the stress experienced by police communicators and to other populations of healthcare workers.
Her committee was composed of Dr. Gillian Einstein, Dr. Vicki LeBlanc, Dr. Cheryl Regehr, and Dr. Elise Paradis.
Congratulations Arija! We wish you all the best for the rest of your career. We are so proud of you.