My research focuses primarily on Native North America, with a particular emphasis on the Arctic. I have been working since 1994 with Inuit in Nunavut, Canada, on suicide prevention and community wellness, exploring various approaches to community-based participatory action research. Current research is looking at the process of collective action among Inuit and other indigenous youth at the community level and beyond, and links between such action and a number of individual and collective aspects of well-being. In one comparative, participatory study we are examining Indigenous youth resilience in communities across Siberia, Alaska, Arctic Canada (Nunavut), and northern Norway. I am also working on a model of suicide within a broader framework of cultural mimesis: examining how idioms of distress and well-being are diffused socially and internalized psychologically. In my work, suicide is one example of a psychological and cultural idiom that becomes a door to explorations at the interface of collective and personal agency, community-university-government collaboration, and mind and culture.
- PhD in clinical psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. PhD in medical anthropology, McGill University
- At UIUC I have taught/teach graduate classes on suicide, ethnography & fieldwork, collaborative community ethnography, community psychology, culture & mental illness/health, and an undergraduate course on suicide.
- Prior to coming to UIUC in 2006 I have taught courses on Inuit culture (Yale), rural community psychology (Lakehead), and clinical assessment, cultural psychology, community psychology, qualitative methods, and adulthood & aging (Windsor).
- Kral, Michael J., Jorge Ramirez Garcia, Mark S. Aber, Nausheen Masood, and Urmitapa Dutta. "Culture and community psychology: Toward a renewed and reimagined vision." American Journal of Community Psycholoy 47 (2011): 46-57.