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Kathryn Berringer

Kathryn Berringer

PhD Student. Social Work/Anthropology Candidate

Kathryn Berringer is a doctoral candidate in the Joint Program in Social Work & Anthropology. As an ethnographer and qualitative researcher, Berringer draws from sociocultural and medical anthropology to examine how social workers, medical providers and allied professionals enact care, confront the intersections of social, racial and economic injustice, and theorize their practice in the United States. Berringer’s current research focuses on practitioners working with LGBTQ+ youth in the city of Detroit, where she has been engaged in long-term ethnographic fieldwork since 2019. Her research examines evidence-based practice frameworks, and the various epistemological paradigms practitioners take up to establish an evidence base for LGBTQ+ affirming care.

Berringer received her AM in Social Service Administration (an MSW equivalent) from the University of Chicago, where she also worked for two years as a research project coordinator and supportive services coordinator at the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination. Prior to that, she received her BA in religion from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Berringer’s work has been published in Social Service Review, Women’s Health, AIDS & Behavior, and the Journal of the Society for Social Work & Research. Her research has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute.

Research Interests/Focus

LGBTQ+ social movements; LGBTQ+ affirming care; HIV/STI research, policy and practice; evidence-based practice; social work history; place-based interventions; permanent supportive housing programs; U.S. housing policy; community organizing & social change; practice research; community-based participatory research; qualitative research methods.

Dissertation Title

Scales of Care: Reproducing LGBTQ+ Safety, Knowledge & Practice in Detroit


Year Degree   School
2009 BA Carleton College, Northfield, MN
2014 MSW The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL


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