Public defence of doctoral thesis: Lydia Mehrara

Lydia Mehrara will defend her PhD degree in Sociology at Nord University, Faculty of Social Sciences.

Start date:

13 May 2022 10:15

End date:

13 May 2022 15:30

Location:

Auditorium Stein Rokkan (A2), Bodø and digitally
​​
Lydia Mehrara outside
PhD candidate Lydia Mehrara.

About the candidate:

Lydia Mehrara​ is a researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Nord University in Norway. She has a multidisciplinary and international education in Public Health, Social Work and Sociology from the University of Toronto, University of Stavanger, University of Gothenburg, University Institute of Lisbon- ISCTE-IUL, and Nord University. Her research examines the intersections of medical sociology, health policy and immigration with a focus on maternity care. She was a visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkley, School of Public Health where she collaborated on a project addressing the access to health care for Hispanics in the United States. Lydia is currently collaborating with other researchers in Scandinavia to both address the challenges of cross-cultural health care, and to develop frameworks for practice in maternal health care.​

The title of the thesis is:

How Universal Is Universal Health Care? A Policy Analysis of the Provision of Maternal Health Care for Immigrant Women in Norway

Topic for the trial lecture:

Discuss the impact of race and class on distributive justice and trust in the Norwegian welfare state​

Time for trial lecture: 10:15 – 11:15
Time for public defence: 12:15 – 15:30
Place: Bodø, A2 Stein Rokkan and digitally
Chair of defence Dean Elisabet Ljunggren, Nord University

​​Adjudication committee:

  • ​Professor Karen Christensen, Roskilde University, Denmark
  • Associate Professor Jonas Debesay, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing and Health Promotion, OsloMet

  • Associate Professor Hilde Berit Moen, Nord University​

Supervisors:

  • Main supervisor: Professor Trude Gjernes, Nord University   
  • Co-supervisor: Associate Professor Susan Young, The University of Western Australia 

Abstract:

In Norway, with universalism remaining the core principle of its health policy, the challenges associated with growing ethnocultural diversity as a result of increasing immigration are demanding universal health care to be suitable for its population, and accessible beyond a statutory right. 

This dissertation critically examines the intersection of immigration and Norway’s universal welfare ideology within the context of immigrant maternal health. It questions how universal, universal health care is in the face of growing diversity by analyzing the implications of Norway’s decentralized approach to addressing the maternal health needs of immigrant women. This is undertaken qualitatively across four research articles, which employ interviews, participant observations, and documents as sources of data to critically investigate Norway’s universal health policy and its implications for practitioners and immigrant service users. These articles are synthesized as an intertwined whole in the six foundational chapters of the dissertation. 

The findings of this dissertation identify universalism as an inherently normative policy position whereby diversity is marginalized. This trickles down to how immigrant women are recognized and met in this system at the practice level. The effects produced by this decentralized system on the service users is conforming, requiring them to accept a generalized provision, and needs to be addressed at its roots by questioning the underpinning assumptions of Norway’s universal policy. 

Consequently, this dissertation argues that universalism and its egalitarian ethos are utopic. It concludes by underscoring that the future of Norwegian universalism requires the adoption of a multicultural focus and the embeddedness of cultural diversity in its socio-political ideology of redistribution principles to address inequity in its diversifying society. This study offers important contributions to policy, practice, and theory in the intersecting fields of migration, public health, public policy, social work, and medical sociology.

Start date:

13 May 2022 10:15

End date:

13 May 2022 15:30

Location:

Auditorium Stein Rokkan (A2), Bodø and digitally
​​

Read more:


>> About the candidate: Lydia Mehrara​

 Contact person

You may request a pdf of the thesis by sending an email to Anneli Maria Watterund: anneli.m.watternd@nord.no​.