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LEGS, or "Law-Engaged Graduate Students," meets during the academic year to discuss a work in progress by one of our Graduate Associates. Academic papers, dissertation proposals, and dissertation chapters have been presented at these meetings, to an audience of fellow graduate students.
Abstract: "In Kentucky, the number of children and youth who have been placed in the permanent or temporary custody of the state has risen rapidly. In August 2018, Governor Matt Bevin declared a “crisis” in the state’s child welfare system, allocating emergency funds for specialized child care facilities. My dissertation research will investigate this phenomenon, alongside the religious, political, social, and economic causes and implications of the growth of residential care in Kentucky. However, conducting participant observation with minors who are undergoing psychiatric treatment and in the custody of the state raises important and significant legal and ethical questions. In this open-ended discussion, I hope to raise some of these questions with the LEGS community to brainstorm how a researcher might manage sticky legal and ethical conundrums including status offenses, sealed court records, and health privacy laws."
EB Saldaña is a third year doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology. Her research interests include the politics and practices of mental health care, American health and insurance policy, adolescence, archives and paperwork, experts and expertise, privatization, and emotional labor. She is currently preparing for a year of ethnographic fieldwork in Kentucky and workshopping her ideas across disciplines, and would welcome any advice or feedback!