Iffath Unissa Syed

Former Post-Doctoral Fellow
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Dr. Iffath Unissa Syed is a former post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation under the supervision of Dr. Geoff Anderson at University of Toronto

Dr. Iffath Unissa Syed is a public health researcher with rapidly growing experience in scientific writing, publication, and knowledge dissemination, as demonstrated by her double-blind peer-reviewed work in scholarly journals and other research outlets.  Relevant fields of research include: health policy, administration, management, and evaluation; public health; sociology of health and illness; work/labor studies; medical sociology; medical humanities; critical disability studies; critical gerontology, aging, and the life course; and migration studies.

Research areas and interests include: health and social policy; working conditions and health; occupational health inequities; occupational segregation; occupational injuries, illness, and disabilities; chronic disease or chronic illness in the workplace; work-related musculoskeletal disorders; cumulative trauma disorders; workplace violence; occupational cancers; labor policies, labor legislation, and health and safety law.

Dr. Syed's doctoral research addressed the health impacts of precarity in work for racialized and immigrant workers, specifically women, and suggests that we should broaden the criteria for "precarious labor" to include common living and working experiences of care workers, and even their managers. Dr. Syed looked at housing pressures, financial remittance payments, the double workday, and labor intensification, as factors that can lead to negative health impacts for workers.

Dr. Syed’s work critically intervenes in health research by focusing on the ways in which gender, race, and class shape the social determinants of health.  This was also demonstrated in her recent work about occupational segregation that was published in Social Science & Medicine, as well as her work about diet, physical activity and emotional health, which was published in BMC Public Health.

Her research focuses on the following groups: women, visible minorities, and (im)migrant populations, particularly intersections of racism, classism, and/or the disablement of care workers. Various theoretical lenses and frameworks are used in these research endeavors including: critical political economy, feminism, critical race theory, human rights, and social determinants of health; all of which help to examine disparities in a comparative context.  Recent contributions include policy interventions on the situation of care workers, advocating for paid sick leave, among other things.

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