Feb.10, 2021 Xiaohang Zhang Topic Statement The difficulty of formulating a thesis at this point is that I have not reviewed all relevant literature that would land me in more certainties. For the time being, my jury-rigged researches have thrashed out one topic that supplies my constant interest – how does the privatization of the care industry impact the underserved communities in this ongoing pandemic? This grand question will naturally incur herculean cognitive costs, but I will direct most of my conscious efforts to decode how decades of lawmaking have encoded the “separate but equal” conception into a form of structural violence that burdens vulnerable populations with a straitened access to health care. Again, the need to sharpen my focus looms large: the multiple axes on the social, moral, economic or political front have been eye-straining. Nevertheless, I am proposing here an intimation of the first-order issues for my project: how punishing austerity measures dismantles the prophylaxes that are supposed to be in place during a pandemic; how the privatization of the care industry has furnished the law into a tool that shifts the responsibility of care from the state to the individual; and how has constructed a moral economy that redistributes health resources and reassigns values around the notion of “deservingness.” In a way my approach would be intimately similar to that of critical medical anthropology, in that both are attempting a synthetic analysis of health inequalities. Nancy Scheper-Hughes rightfully calls this endeavor “an anthropology of affliction” – and I am cleareyed about the asperity of it. As stated in the beginning, the present difficulties of my research stem from the fact that I have not familiarized myself with the essential literature in the field of medical anthropology; and I plan to use the next week– with the help of librarians and academic databases such as the Oxford Bibliography – to get a good grasp of this field.