Sociology Faculty

James Doucet-Battle
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Sociology Department
  • Affiliations Science & Justice Research Center, Anthropology Department, John R. Lewis College, Global & Community Health, Genomics Institute
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Rachel Carson College Academic Building, 325
  • Office Hours Fall 2023: 12-3pm, Thursdays, by appt. via Zoom
  • Mail Stop Rachel Carson College Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Sociology, Science and Technology, Anthropology, African Diaspora, Sociology of Development, Genomics
  • Courses SOCY 121 Sociology of Health and Medicine; SOCY 132 Sociology of Science and Technology; SOCY 127P Sociology of Drugs, Botanicals, and Pharmaceuticals; SOCY 208 Graduate Writing Practicum; SOCY 205 Qualitative Field Research Methods

Summary of Expertise

James Doucet-Battle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Co-Director of the Science & Justice Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Doucet-Battle has an extensive background in medical anthropology, sociology, science and technology studies (STS), and African Diaspora Studies. His research infuses a growing literature in critical studies of race and bioethics with ethnographic work analyzing health disparities and their remedial projects. He situates his ongoing research agenda along three intersecting lines of investigation: 1) diversity as a scientific and a social problem embedded in structural racism; 2) the unequal conditions of biological and social exchange among and between raced and gendered communities; 3) an examination of genomic resource mapping efforts aimed toward “sub-Saharan” descent communities as part of a larger precision medicine research effort. A key focus of his research platform examines the translational challenges facing genomics researchers and community education outreach efforts towards recruiting individuals and communities of African descent. He is the author of Sweetness in the Blood: Race, Risk, and Type 2 Diabetes (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), which explores the recruitment of African descent groups for cardiometabolic and genomic research. Doucet-Battle’s research contributes to the building of a new field of social scientific inquiry on race and risk, community health, and the cultural economies of science and medicine. 

Research Interests

Health disparities, race, and medicine; power, subject-making, and citizenship; ethnography, political economy, grounded theory: diasporic and transnational Africa.

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D. Medical Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley/University San Francisco, 2012

Selected Publications


Sweetness in the Blood: Race, Risk, and Type 2 Diabetes (U Minn Press, March 2021)


Journal Articles 


2021   "The Case of Sparkle Rai: A Violent Patriarchal Narrative of Conspiratorial Kinship and Race." Feminist Anthropology 2(2): 271-283.


2018    “Ennobling the Neanderthal: Racialized Texts and Genomic Admixture.” 

Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies Vol. 5(1): 61-67.


2016    “Bioethical Matriarchy: Race, Gender, and the Gift in Genomic Research” Special Issue: "Nothing/More: Black Studies and Feminist Technoscience" Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 2(2): 1-28.


2016    “Sweet Salvation: One Black Church, Diabetes Outreach, and Trust” Transforming Anthropology 24(2): 125-135.


2007    “Race and Anthropology, Race in Anthropology: From Race to Ancestry, Gene to Genotype.” Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers Vol. 95: 1-6.