Ariana Weckstein

The Conditions of Power in Community Health: Gender, Race, and Harm Reduction at the Berkeley Free Clinic

My research project is an investigation of the conditions in which power operates within STI (sexually transmitted infections) counseling sessions at the Berkeley Free Clinic. I intend to analyze the conditions in which the implementation of harm reduction during these appointments reinforces dominant bio-political norms around sexual health, as well as the conditions in which the implementation of harm reduction refigures and transforms these bio-political norms. I will attempt to address the ways in which these conditions are constructed in relation to a client’s gender and race within the relatively short time duration of these appointments, and I ultimately hope to highlight ways in which a client’s marginalized position and nonconforming subjectivity might allow the STI counselor to “queer” their implementation of harm reduction and refigure dominant bio-political norms of sexual health within these appointments.