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Amy Cabrera Rasmussen


Education and research interests 

Dr. Cabrera Rasmussen received her B.A. and M.A. from California State University Long Beach in 1996 and 1998 respectively, and earned her Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in 2005.  She was a visiting researcher at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University from 2002 to 2005 and has received research fellowships from Yale University, the Ford Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the CSULB Research Infrastructure for Minority Institutions health disparities program.

Her scholarly work examines the processes through which groups construct and communicate meaning in policy-making debates through discursive mechanisms such as categories, frames, and synecdoche.  Her research utilizes interpretive methods and a theoretical framework that emphasizes the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and nation.  Substantively, she grounds her work in various aspects of public policy that involve health care and identity, specifically issues such as health disparities, HIV/AIDS, contraception, abortion, and infant mortality.

Current research projects include an analysis of the debate concerning the categorization of contraception under the Affordable Care Act, an examination of media framing of the causes and solutions to racial and ethnic health disparities, and a study of the construction of the health agenda within the local Long Beach community.

Teaching and advising

Dr. Cabrera Rasmussen has taught courses on American politics, public policy, and racial and ethnic politics at both the undergraduate and masters level at CSULB.  She has also served as one of the department’s undergraduate advisors since the spring of 2009.