Ann Miles

Photo of Ann Miles
Ann Miles
Professor of Sociology
(269) 387-5282
3213 Sangren Hall, Mail Stop 5257
Mailing address: 
Department of Sociology
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5257 USA
  • Ph.D., Syracuse University
Teaching interests: 
  • Medical anthropology
  • Women’s illness narratives
  • Commodification of medicine

Dr. Ann Miles is a professor in the Department of Sociology at Western Michigan University.

Miles’ research has primarily been conducted in Ecuador where she has examined the symbolic dimensions of the commodification of natural medicine in order to understand how certain medical products are given meaning by both producers and consumers.  More recently, her research explores Ecuadorian women’s experiences with the chronic illness, lupus. Situating women’s lives in their cultural and gendered contexts, Miles analyzes women’s narratives of illness as a means for understanding how the experience of chronic illness is socially and culturally mediated and how living with a chronic illness becomes integrated into a life trajectory.

Miles regularly teaches courses in medical anthropology, medical sociology and women and health. Of particular concern in all of her courses is the examination of the intersections of culture, society and biomedicine. Common themes include how cultural metaphors and assumptions influence biomedical thinking and practice, how social disparities are reflected in health disparities and how illness is best understood from an experiential point of view.