Dr. Kim Hopper is a medical anthropologist who, for 25 years, worked as a research scientist for the NYC Office of Mental Health at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, where he co-directed the Center for the Study of Issues in Public Mental Health. From 2006 to 2016, he was also Visiting President's Professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He is author of Reckoning with Homelessness (Cornell University Press, 2003), a stocktaking of two decades of research, advocacy, and theoretical work, that was awarded the Anthony Award in Urban Anthropology. He is also co-editor of Recovery from Schizophrenia: An International Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2007), a report from the WHO collaborative study on the long-term course and outcome of schizophrenia. Since 1979, Hopper has done ethnographic and historical research on psychiatric care and on homelessness, chiefly in New York City. Active in homeless advocacy efforts since 1980, Hopper served as president of the National Coalition for the Homeless from 1991-1993, and teaches a seminar each spring in the Law School on current litigation and policy re homelessness. For the last 10 years, he has also taught in the Bard Prison Initiative. His present research interests include the fate of reforms in public mental health, terms and conditions of collaborative research, and prospects for reconciliation between ex-patients and their professional caretakers.
George Foster Practicing Medical Anthropology Award (2015)
Anthony Leeds Award in Urban Anthropology (2004)
Research Scientist Award, Office of Mental Health (1995)
Honors & Awards
Anthony Leeds Awards in Urban Anthropology, 2003
Finalist, C. Wright Mills Award, SSSP, 2003
Honorable Mention, Benjamin L. Hooks Institute, Book Award, 2003
Areas of Expertise
Select Urban Health Activities
Homelessness History + Present: For over two decades Dr. Hopper has been investigating the history, causes, and public response to homelessness, with particular emphasis on legal aspects and advocacy. He has written extensively on the demands of scholarship and the courts with respect to evidence and its interpretation in formulating public policy.
Mental Health and tPublic Policy: As Research Scientist at the Nathan Kline Institute, Dr. Hopper co-directs the Center to Study Recovery in Social Contexts, which has built a portfolio of CBPR-based research that is attempting to apply Amartya Sen's "capabilities" approach to the practice of public mental health.
Field School in Social Research Method: Hopper founded this experimental school for mental health peers -- people with long experience in the public mental health system -- to become conversant with research methods so as to be better able to read and critique the literature, participate in collaborative research efforts, and undertake their own inquiries.
Select Global Activities
WHO-Collaborative International Study of Schizophrenia: Dr. Hopper edited a final collection of reports (Oxford 2007) on this long-term follow-up study of treated incidence cohorts of clinically (PSE)-defined schizophrenia in 14 communities across 10 countries.
Adolescent Narratives of Resilience in Circumpolar Communities: As President's Professor at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Hopper consults on this narrative-based approach to adolescent passages in the Circumpolar North (NW and SW Alaska, Norway, Siberia, and Nunavit, Canada).
Amering M., Stastny P., Hopper K., Psychiatric advance directives: Qualitative study of informed deliberations by mental health service users. British Journal of Psychiatry 186 247-252 2005
Barrett RJ, Jenkins JH Schizophrenia, Culture and Subjectivity Cambridge University Press New York 62-86 2004
Hopper K, Harrison G, Janca A, Sartorius N, eds. Recovery from Schizophrenia: An International Perspective Psychosocial Press Westport, CT 2004
Hopper K Reckoning with Homelessness Cornell University Press Ithaca, NY 2003
Hopper K, Barrow S Two genealogies of supported housing and their implications for outcome assessment Psychiatric Services 54 50-54 2003
Hopper K When (working) in Rome: applying anthropology in Caesarâ€™s realm Human Organization 61 196-209 2002
Shinn B, Baumohl J, Hopper K The prevention of homelessness revisited Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy (ASAP) 1 95-127 2001
Steadman H, Gounis K, Roche B, Dennis D, Hopper K, Robbins P Assessing the New York City involuntary outpatient commitment program Psychiatric Services 52 330-336 2001
Hopper K, Wanderling J Revisiting the developed vs. developing country distinction in course and outcome in schizophrenia: Results from ISoS, the WHO-Collaborative Follow-up Project Schizophrenia Bulletin 26 835-846 2000
Hopper K, Hay T, Jost J, Welber S, Haugland G Homelessness, severe mental illness and the institutional circuit Psychiatric Services 48 659-665 1997