Airín Denise Martínez, Ph.D.

Airín Denise Martínez is a Kellogg Health Community Track Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She earned her doctoral degree in sociology from the University of California, San Francisco in June 2010. Martinez earned her bachelor of science in sociology, with a minor in pre-med biology from Barry University.

Research Interests and Projects

Martínez studies how lay health practices among Spanish-speaking, Latino immigrants change as a result of migration and transnationalism. Her dissertation research examined the lay health practice of comiendo bien (eating well) among Latino immigrant families in San Francisco. While many researchers would approach such questions by using the process of “acculturation” to understand how cultural changes mediate health practices, Martínez uses a transnational lens. Her research takes into consideration how Latino immigrants’ dietary practices were already reflecting Western habits as a result of interaction with family members living in the US and globalization’s many influences in Latin America. During her dissertation research she collaborated with Latino immigrant organizations, which re-ignited her interest in participatory research.

She is currently conducting a community-based participatory research project with Casa de Maryland assessing the occupational health needs with the growing Latino immigrant population in Baltimore. The results are intended to not only create new culturally-specific and gender-specific health interventions, but also decipher ways to address employers and policy makers.

Contact Information:


Martínez, Airín. Forthcoming. “Ideoscapes.” Entry in the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization, edited by George Ritzer and Nathan Jurgenson.

Martínez, Airín. “The Juxtaposition of Comiendo Bien and Nutritionism: The State of Healthy Eating for Latino Immigrants in San Francisco.” Under review in Gastronomica.

Martínez, Airín, Yen, Irene, Laraia, Barbara, Shim, Janet, and Judith Barker. “How Neighborhoods Influence Health: Applying social theory in the investigation of the mechanisms.” Under review in Journal of Urban Health.