Rachel K. Best

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Rachel Best

Assistant Professor

Office Location(s): 4122 LSA
Phone: 734.763.1220
rkb@umich.edu
View Curriculum Vitae

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Population Studies Center (ISR)
  • Fields of Study
    • Health and Healthcare
    • Culture and Knowledge
  • About

    Rachel Best's research asks how policies and laws respond to social problems. Across a wide range of issues, she studies how advocacy and culture create inequalities in policy and law. One ongoing line of research investigates inequalities in employment discrimination litigation. Another explores the consequences of the emergence of a new form of advocacy: interest groups targeting specific diseases. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods, she finds that disease advocacy had surprising cultural effects on politics, changing how policy makers evaluate claims and judge the worthiness of potential recipients. The study also asks why lobbying for research into new medical treatments has overshadowed movements seeking research on environmental causes of disease and advocacy for expanded access to medical care.

  • Education
    • Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley, 2012
  • Research Areas of Interest
    • Political Sociology, Sociology of Law, Social Movements, Medical Sociology