Super-diverse cities face distinctive challenges during infectious disease outbreaks. For refugee and immigrant groups from epidemic source locations, identities of place blend with epidemiological logics in convoluted ways during these crises. This research investigated the relationships of place and stigma during the Dallas Ebola crisis. Ethnographic results illustrate how Africanness, more than neighborhood stigma, informed Dallas residents’ experience of stigma. The problems of place-based stigma, the imprecision of epidemiological placism, and the cohesion of stigma to semiotically powerful levels of place – rather than to realistic risk categories – are discussed. Taking its authority from epidemiology, placism is an important source of potential stigma with critical implications for the success of public health messaging.
Smith-Morris, Carolyn, "Epidemiological placism in public health emergencies: Ebola in two Dallas neighborhoods" (2017). Anthropology Research. 11.