Western Michigan University sociologist Angela Moe contributes a harrowing chapter to Razor Wire Women on women’s mental-health care in jail; the title, If I Wasn’t Suicidal, That’ll Drive You to It–a quote from one of her research subjects–tells the story. Much of her other work focuses on the ways women are victimized by patriarchal battering, law enforcement, the health-care complex, the corrections industry, and by the complex interplay between all three. This article, “Like a Prison!”, extends her critique by comparing the experiences of homeless shelter users to those of the imprisoned. (Having worked for a year at a major Midwestern homeless shelter, I certainly think this comparison deserves to be made!)
Her more recent work examines US cultural assumptions surrounding belly-dancing. (No one survives Michigan winters without an excellent indoor exercise routine of some kind.) Her forthcoming Beyond the Belly(Dance): The Transformative Effects of an Ancient Art will use ethnographic research “to attest to the multidimensional, interconnected and holistic benefits of this dance form.” More of the valuable eclecticism that characterizes RWW contributors.