Airin Martinez

Airin Martinez's picture
Visiting Assistant Professor
35 Broadway, 210


Dr. Martinez is a Presidential Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor in Ethnicity, Race & Migration and American Studies. She is a medical sociologist trained in the social construction of health and illness, race and ethnic relations, globalization, and grounded theory/situational analysis at the University of California, San Francisco. She completed her postdoctoral training in community-based participatory research (CBPR) and biostatistics through the W.K. Kellogg Health Scholars Program at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has been conducting research with and volunteering in Latino communities for over 12 years in San Francisco, Baltimore, and currently, Phoenix. One line of research includes challenging dietary acculturation research about Latinos. This research seeks to demonstrate that Latino immigrants’ diets change not because of the loss or gain of traditional foodways, but rather from transnational processes such as modernization of food systems in Latin America, and structural constraints such as unstable employment, inadequate housing, and immigration status. Another line of research includes using participatory approaches to include Latinas/os in the production of knowledge regarding chronic disease and occupational health risks. Dr. Martinez’s emergent area of research examines how the local implementation of immigration enforcement policies creates material deprivation and psychosocial stress among Latino immigrants and their US-born children (i.e. mixed-status families). More specifically, this inquiry has led to examine how immigration enforcement policies shape the embodiment of racism and illegality, especially how stress from immigration enforcement is related to physiological processes associated with chronic disease risks. During the Presidential Fellowship Dr. Martinez plans to expand her work on the embodiment of illegality and its potential to shape the illness experience for Latinx.

Selected Publications

Martinez, Airin D. (2013). Reconsidering acculturation for dietary change research among Latino immigrants: Challenging the preconditions of US migration. Ethnicity and Health. DOI: 10.1080/13557858.2012.698254.

Martinez, Airin D., Juon, Hee-Soon, Levine, David, Lyford-Pike, Victoria & Sadie Peters. (2014). The association between transition score and measures of obesity: results from a cross-sectional cardiovascular risk assessment among Latino immigrants in Baltimore. Globalization & Health. DOI: 10.1186/1744-8603-10-57.

Martinez, Airin D. (2015). The juxtaposition of comiendo bien and nutrition: the state of healthy eating for Latino immigrants in San Francisco. Food, Culture, and Society, 18(1): 131-149.

Martinez, Airin D., Piedramartel, Abdel & Jacqueline Agnew. (2015). Going beyon the injury: regulatory conditions contributing to Latina/o immigrants’ occupational psychosocial stressors in Baltimore. Frontiers in Public Health, 3: 240. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2015.00240.

Martinez, Airin D. (2016). Comiendo Bien: The production of Latinidad through the performance of healthy eating among Latino immigrant families in San Francisco. Symbolic Interaction, 39(1): 66-85.

Martinez, Airin D., Ruelas, Lillian & Granger, Douglas A. (2016). Association between body mass index and salivary uric acid among Mexican-origin infants, youth and adults: Gender and developmental differences. Developmental Psychobiology.

Martinez, Airin D., Ruelas, Lillian & Granger, Douglas A. (In Press). Household Fear of deportation and BMI percentile in Mexican-origin families from Pheonix, AZ: Relation to Salivary Uric Acid. American Journal of Human Biology. DOI: 10.1002.ajhb.23044.

Edited Volumes, Under Contract

Airin D. Martinez and Scott D. Rhodes (Editors). New and Emerging Issues in Latina/o Health. Springer Publishing. Anticipated Publication: November 2018.