Claudia Chaufan

Associate Professor

Faculty & School/Dept.

Faculty of Health - - School of Health Policy & Management
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studie


PhD Sociology / Philosophy -
University of California Santa Cruz

MA Sociology -
University of California Santa Cruz

MD -
National University of Buenos Aires


I work in the traditions of critical health, social, and policy studies. Strongly grounded in my medical training and clinical practice, I research the social production and developmental origins of health and disease in the context of the globalization of corporate capitalism, the geopolitics of health, and medicalization and social control in medicine and public health. Over the years I have used diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer disease, and more recently, Covid-19, as case studies to examine how these social production and developmental origins operate.  Other intellectual interests include the philosophy and history of science, the critical analysis of discourse, propaganda studies, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. 

I have published widely in my areas of expertise in refereed and popular venues, presented at international, national, and regional academic and professional conferences, and served as Editorial Board Member and reviewer of various refereed journals. 

My research has been funded by the California Department of Public Health, the California Department of Transportation, the National Institutes of Health, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 


I teach or have taught courses in the sociology of health, illness, and medicine, in comparative health policy, in the politics of global health, in the sociology of power, and in sociological theory. My research and my teaching have co-evolved and become closely intertwined, as I seek better ways to communicate ideas and convey to my students the power of the sociological lens that has so deeply transformed my own intellectual, professional, civic, and personal lives.

Courses (current / Past)

  • HLST 2020 – Health Policy: Power & Politics
  • HLST 4110 – Comparative Health Policy
  • HLTH 5485 – Public Policy and Health
  • HLTH 5030 – Health & Science
  • HLTH 5010 – Health & Politics


Other York Affiliations

Global Health
Graduate Program in Sociology
Development Studies
Social and Political Thought
Department of Sociology


Selected Publications

2023. Claudia Chaufan, Laurie Manwell, Camila Heredia, Jennifer McDonald, Claudia Chaufan, Laurie Manwell, Camila Heredia, and Jennifer McDonald. “COVID-19 Vaccines and Autoimmune Disorders: A Scoping Review Protocol.” AIMS Medical Science 10, no. 4: 318–28. 

2023. Claudia Chaufan. Is Covid-19 “vaccine uptake” in postsecondary education a “problem”? A critical policy inquiry. Health: An  Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine

2023. Claudia Chaufan, Laurie Manwell, Benjamin Gabbay, Camila Heredia, Charlotte Daniels. Appraising the decision-making process concerning COVID-19 policy in postsecondary education in Canada: A critical scoping review protocol. AIMS Public Health, 10 (4). 

2023. Chaufan, Claudia, Hemsing, Natalie, Camila Heredia, and Jennifer McDonald. “What Do Experts Mean by ‘Misinformation’ in the COVID-19 Era? A Critical Scoping Review Protocol.” International Journal of Scholarly Research in Multidisciplinary Studies 3, no. 2 (October 9, 2023). .

2023. Claudia Chaufan, Camila Heredia, Jennifer McDonald, and Natalie Hemsing. “The Risk-Benefit Balance in the COVID-19 ‘Vaccine Hesitancy’ Literature: An Umbrella Review.Journal of Research and Applied Medicine Vol. 2. Issue 1 

2023. Claudia Chaufan and Natalie Hemsing. “In the Name of Health and Illness: An Inquiry into Covid-19 Vaccination Policy in Postsecondary Education in Canada.Journal of Research & Applied Medicine. Vol 1, Issue 6. 

2023. Vickers, David, John Hardie, Stefan Eberspaecher, Claudia Chaufan, and Steven Pelech. “Counterfactuals of Effects of Vaccination and Public Health Measures on COVID-19 Cases in Canada: What Could Have Happened?” Frontiers in Public Health 11 (2023). 

2022. Claudia Chaufan, Natalie Hemsing, Jennifer McDonald, and Camila Heredia. “The Risk-Benefit Balance in the COVID-19 ‘Vaccine Hesitancy’ Literature: An Umbrella Review Protocol.” International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research 2, no. 2 (November 9): 652–69. 

2022. Claudia Chaufan, Nora Yousefi, and Ifsia Zaman. “The Violence of Non-Violence: A Systematic Mixed Studies Review on the Health Effects of Sanctions.” International Journal of Health 

2020. Chaufan, Claudia. “Why More ‘Skin in the Game’ Will Not Help Control US Health Care Spending: A Cross-National Study from Selected OECD Countries.” Research in the Sociology of Health Care 38 (2020): 163–79. 

2020. Claudia Chaufan and Maria Paez Victor. "The Violence of Non-Violence: Canadian Sanctions Policy in Times of Covid-19." Orinoco Tribune, May 1. 

2020. Claudia Chaufan and Faisal Mohamed.. Unfortunate distinction or corporate protectionism by design? The Lancet, May 9.

2020. Claudia Chaufan. "The unbearable lightness of the dominant narrative on Cuba." The Lancet 394, August 31.

2019. Claudia Chaufan and Daniel Saliba (2019). "The global diabetes epidemic and the nonprofit state corporate complex: Equity implications of discourses, research agendas, and policy recommendations of diabetes nonprofit organizations." Social Science & Medicine 223: 77-88.

2018. Claudia Chaufan. "What Can the Slim Initiative in Genomic Medicine for the Americas (SIGMA) Contribute to Preventing, Treating, or Decreasing the Impact of Diabetes among Mexicans and Latin Americans?" Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies 5(1): 24 – 35.

2016.  Claudia Chaufan. "What Can US Single-Payer Supporters Learn From the Swiss Rejection of Single Payer?" International Journal of Health Services 46(2): 331-345.2015.

2015. Claudia Chaufan, Catherine Chesla, Hegla Fielding and Alicia Fernandez. “It’s not the doctor – it’s me”: How self-blame obscures language and other structural barriers to diabetes care among low-income Latinos with limited English proficiency. Research in the Sociology of Health Care Vol. 33, p.p.187-208

2014. Claudia Chaufan, Jarmin Yeh, Leslie Ross and Patrick Fox, You cannot bike or walk yourself out of poverty: Active school transport, child obesity, and blind spots in the public health literature. Critical Public Health, DOI: 10.1080/09581596.2014.920078

2014. Claudia Chaufan and Yi-Chang Li, Can information technology improve health care equity in the United States? Lessons from Taiwan. Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Vol. 32, 19-33.

2013. Claudia Chaufan and Jay Joseph, The “missing heritability” of common disorders: Should health researchers care? International Journal of Health Services, 43 (2): 281–303

2013. Claudia Chaufan, Sophia Constantino & Meagan Davis, “You must not confuse poverty with laziness”: A case study on the power of discourse to reproduce diabetes inequalities. International Journal of Health Services, 43 (1): 143-166

2012. Claudia Chaufan, Brooke Hollister, Jennifer Nazareno & Patrick Fox, Medical ideology as a double-edged sword: The politics of cure and care in the making of Alzheimer’s disease. Social Science & Medicine. Vol. 74 (5):788-95.

2011. Claudia Chaufan & Khaleel Isa, Heal thyself: Dealing with trauma work–Gaza 2008/2009. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. Vol. 15 (1):22-37.

2009. Claudia Chaufan and Rose Weitz, The elephant in the room: The invisibility of poverty in research on type 2 diabetes. Humanity and Society, 33 (February/May): 74-98.

2008. Claudia Chaufan.. Unpacking the Heritability of Diabetes. Data Critica: International Journal of Critical Statistics. Vol. 2. N. 2. p: 23-38

2007. Claudia Chaufan, How much can a large population study on genes, environments, their interactions and common diseases contribute to the health of the American people? Social Science & Medicine. Oct; 65(8):1730-41.

Publications as co-author of my students

2022. Kewoba Carter and Claudia Chaufan.New Bottle, Old Wine? Implications of the World Bank’s Systematic Diagnostic Reports for the Rise of Noncommunicable Diseases in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.” International Journal of Health Services.

2021. Farihah Ali, Cayley Russell, Frishta Nafeh, Claudia Chaufan, Sameer Imtiaz, Jürgen Rehm, Adrienne Spafford, and Tara Elton-Marshall. “Youth Substance Use Service Provider’s Perspectives on Use and Service Access in Ontario: Time to Reframe the Discourse.” Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 17, no. 1.

2021. Nora Yousefi and Claudia Chaufan. “‘Think before You Drink’: Challenging Narratives on Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Indigeneity in Canada.” Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, September 22.

2020. Faisal Mohamed and Claudia Chaufan, A Critical Discourse Analysis of Intellectual Property Rights Within NAFTA 1.0: Implications for NAFTA 2.0 and for Democratic (Health) Governance in Canada. International Journal of Health Services 50 (3): 278-291.

2019. Jennifer McDonald and Claudia Chaufan. "Work-life balance in medical practice: The reproduction of patriarchy and the politics of gender." Research in the Sociology of Health Care 37: 205 - 223.

2017. Polly Ford-Jones and Claudia Chaufan"A critical analysis of debates around mental health calls in the prehospital setting." INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing.


University of California San Francisco
Affiliated faculty


Clarification of current research
All but the first project includes collaborators, significantly, my own students

Service/Community Activities

Canadian Academics for Covid Ethics

Canadian Covid Care Alliance
Scientific and Medical Advisory (SMAC) Committee member (current)


Science Communication Fellow, Campomar Institute, ARGENTINA - 1986

Allen Van Son Diabetes Education Award, USA - 2000

Medical Education Research - MEDICC, CUBA - 2012

US Fulbright Scholar @ York University, CANADA - 2015

US Fulbright Specialist @ Birzeit University, PALESTINE - 2018


Currently available to supervise graduate students: Not Indicated

Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers: Yes

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: No

Current Research

Medicalization and social control in the COVID-19 era – This project analyzes COVID-19 policy since the WHO delcared it a "public health emergency of international concern" on January 30, 2020. I am examining expert narratives (in medicine/public health, public policy, and academia) with a view to critically evaluate policy debates and decision-making, the use of morally charged concepts (e.g., “misinformation", "vaccine hesitancy”, "antivaxxer") to manage resistance to official policy, and bioethical tensions between claims about the public good vis-à-vis individual civil rights and liberties. Read about my project  here and here

The geopolitics of anti-Asian racism - In this project, I examine synergies between negative messaging about the Chinese state from Western official sources - dominant narratives" – and public attitudes towards Asians, especially Chinese people. I draw from critical science traditions to explore how official anti-China narratives and the views of Western publics towards Asians dialectically interact and in so doing may influence anti-Asian racism in the Covid era. Both this and my medical social control project overlap in that in both cases I appraise how narratives of blame and shame, leading to waves of hate and violence against an “other,” have historically been used to justify the suppression of dissent and civil liberties in times of crisis.

The geopolitics of sanctions policy - This project is a critical analysis of the policy of sanctions and its implications for populations living under sanctions, especially those imposed by the Canadian state. The first stage consists of a systematic review of the health effects of sanctions; the second stage is an analysis of the discursive treatment of this policy in the medical literature and the implications of this treatment for public policy and global health justice.

Critical pedagogy and student engagement - This project assesses student experience with cooperative and active learning approaches as they apply to critical social, health and policy studies. It is part of my continuing engagement with scholarly teaching. 

Research Projects

Geopolitics of anti-Asian racism in the Covid-19 era
In this project, I examine synergies between negative messaging about the Chinese state from Western official sources - public figures in politics, academia, and the media – and public attitudes towards Asians, especially Chinese people. I draw from critical science traditions to explore how official anti-China narratives shape and the views of Western publics towards Asians dialectically interact and in so doing may influence anti-Asian racism in the Covid-19 era.
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $277,259
Year Funded: 2022
Duration: 2026
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Transparency and shared responsibility for sustainable post-pandemic recovery and evidence-informed decision-making during future global emergencies
This project brings together a diverse group of over 30 researchers from across the world, with six principal investigators from Canadian universities, and representation from the humanities, social, health, and natural sciences. The team uses a set of nested conceptual frameworks and a variety of research methods to interrogate global societal responses to COVID-19.
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $500,000
Year Funded: 2022
Duration: 2
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Curriculum Vitae (C.V. file):

CV of Claudia Chaufan