Claudia Chaufan

Associate Professor

Locations / Contact Info:

312 Stong College - SC
Keele Campus
Ext. 22134

Email address(es):

Faculty & School/Dept.

Faculty of Health - School of Health Policy & Management


MD - 1985
National University of Buenos Aires

PhD Sociology/Philosophy - 2006
University of California Santa Cruz


My research examines the drivers of social and health inequalities at local, national, and global levels. My frame of reference to investigate these inequalities and their reproduction includes the geopolitics of health policy, the history of capitalist globalization, and the use of medical frames – i.e., the practice of medicalization – to reproduce structures of domination. Due to my medical background, I have used diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer disease as case studies to shed light on these processes that I am now examining to appraise debates around Covid-19.

While I am not an “area studies” scholar, I have conducted research on several regions in the “global South” (e.g., Palestine and selected Latin American countries). Drawing from Marxist, critical development, and anticolonial lenses, I have examined and continue to examine how the power dynamics underlying major global institutions - economic (IMF, World Bank), military (NATO) and political/policy (UN/WHO) - shape health and other inequalities in those regions. Additional intellectual interests include the sociology, philosophy, and history of science, the critical analysis of discourse, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

I teach or have taught courses in the sociology of health, medicine and science, 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 always been tightly intertwined. I have developed very close bonds with many students and my teaching continuously challenges me to clarify my ideas, seek better ways to communicate them, and sharpen my ability to articulate the power of the sociological lens that has so deeply transformed my intellectual, professional, civic, and personal lives.

Selected Publications

2021. Chaufan, Claudia, Ilinca A. Dutescu, Hanah Fekre, Saba Marzabadi, and K. J. Noh. “The Military as a Neglected Pathogen Transmitter, from the Nineteenth Century to COVID-19: A Systematic Review.” Global Health Research and Policy 6, no. 1: 48.

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.

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

Physicians for a National Health Program
Past president of the California chapter and active member of the National organization and the San Francisco chapter for close to 20 years.

Canadian Academics for Covid Ethics

Canadian Covid Care Alliance
Scientific and Medical Advisory (SMAC) Committee member (current) Long Covid & Vaccine Injuries Committee Chair (2021)

Faculty of Health, York University
Special Advisor to the Dean of Health in Curriculum Internationalization


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 crisis – This project is a critical analysis of COVID-19 policy as the crisis unfolds. I am investigating the expert medical and policy literature with a view to critically appraise policy debates, the deployment of morally charged conceps (e.g., “misinformation", "vaccine hesitancy”, "anti-vaxxer") to manage resistance to official policy, and bioethical tensions between claims about the public good vis-à-vis individual civil rights and liberties.

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, active learning approaches and training in critical policy studies. The focus is on the success of these techniques and approaches in online environments.

Research Projects

Critical Pedagogy and Student Engagement in the Online Environment
Funded by the Faculty of Health 'Fund for Innovations in Teaching'
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $3000
Year Funded: 2021
Duration: 1
Funded by: York University

The Geopolitics of Sanctions Policy
Funded by the Dadaleh Institute of Global Health
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $5000
Year Funded: 2021
Duration: 1
Funded by: York University

Understanding Social Perceptions of Risk, Information Sources, Trust, and Public Engagement Related to the COVID-19 Outbreak
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $428,816
Year Funded: 2020
Duration: 2
Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Curriculum Vitae (C.V. file):

CV of Claudia Chaufan