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The Childhood, Law & Policy Network (CLPN)

Dr Julie Spray


Research Fellow, University of Auckland, New Zealand; incoming lecturer in Children's Studies at National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) June 2022, Ireland



I am an interdisciplinary medical and childhood anthropologist who brings cultural, structural, and biosocial perspectives to research on wellbeing, health policy, and global health inequities. Drawing from ethnographic and visual methods, my work advocates for greater inclusion in health policy of those marginalised by dominant social structures and values, particularly children and racially or economically disadvantaged communities. My research has been based in Aotearoa New Zealand and the United States with analyses focusing on intersecting issues of rheumatic fever, asthma, stress, infrastructure, nutrition, self-harm, mental health, Covid-19, and health policy.



Spray, Julie. 2020. The Children in Child Health: Negotiating Young Lives and Health in New Zealand. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

Spray, Julie. 2018. ‘The Value of Anthropology in Child Health Policy’. Anthropology in Action 25 (1): 29–40.

Spray, Julie. 2020. ‘Towards a Child-Centred Public Health: Lessons from Rheumatic Fever Prevention in Aotearoa New Zealand’. Children & Society 34 (6): 552–66.

Spray, Julie, and Jean Hunleth. 2022. ‘Breathing Together: Children Co-Constructing Asthma Self-Management in the United States’. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 1–28.

Spray, Julie, and Jean Hunleth. 2020. ‘Where Have All the Children Gone? Against Children’s Invisibility in the Covid-19 Pandemic’. Anthropology Now 12 (2): 39–52.

Spray, Julie. 2021. ‘Drawing Perspectives Together: What Happens When Researchers Draw with Children?’ Visual Anthropology Review 37 (2): 356–79.


Child health, health policy and interventions, anthropology of childhood, Indigenous health, health disparities, visual anthropology, arts-based methods, ethnographic illustration
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