Yael Assor

Yael Assor

(c) Ofek Birenbaum, HaMita Studio
Anthropological research of healthcare policymaking and health economy

Medical, psychological
Economic anthropology
Intersections of anthropology and philosophy
Feminist epistemologies


Email: yaelassor@gmail.com
Personal website: Yael Assor

Current Projects

My current research examines the ethical assumptions underlying the notion of "medical effectiveness" in cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), a central policy-making tool for determining healthcare funding allocation worldwide. While CEA aims to provide a standardized, value-free measurement of different health technologies, its calculation requires making various assumptions about what is "good health" and who should determine it. 

Curriculum Vitae 

Fellowships and Grants

  • 2022-2024            Israel Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Grant (grant number 95/22)

  • 2021-2022            Tel Aviv University Rector's Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • 2020                       Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association International Scholarship

  • 2019-2020            Dissertation Year Fellowship, UCLA Graduate Division

  • 2018                       Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies Graduate Student Research Fellowship

  • 2017                       UCLA International Center Fieldwork Fellowship

  • 2012                       Shaine Fellowship, Sociology and Anthropology Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem


  • 2022       Honorary mention, Max Gluckman Prize for best dissertation, Israeli Anthropological Association

  • 2018       UCLA Department of Anthropology Summer Research Awar

  • 2016       Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Award, Graduate Division, UCLA

  • 2015       Lemelson/Society for Psychological Anthropology Pre-Dissertation Award, American Anthropological Association

  • 2014       Ursula Mandel Award, UCLA

  • 2013       Guggenheim award, Mandel Institute for Jewish Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem


  • Ph.D.     Anthropology, UCLA, 2014- December 18, 2020.
    Dissertation Title: "Objectivity as a Bureaucratic Virtue: The Lived Experience of Objectivity in an Israeli Medical Bureaucracy”
    Dissertation Committee: Dr. C. Jason Throop (chair, UCLA), Dr. Sherry B. Ortner (UCLA), Dr. Akhil Gupta (UCLA), Dr. Jarrett Zigon (UVA Anthropology)

  • M.A.      Sociology and Anthropology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Summa Cum Laude, 2013

  • B.A.        Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Cum Laude, 2009
    Major: Sociology- Anthropology, Psychology.


Peer-reviewed articles



  • 2022 Sal Committee's Public Legitimacy: Assessment and Recommendations.  Keynote speech at ISPOR (The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research)-Israel Chaper annual conference.

  • 2021 Bureaucratizing Like a Girl: How an Ethics of "Objectivity" Affects Patriarchal Organizations. Tel Aviv University Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

  • 2021 Objectivity in medical policy-making: An Israeli case study of how ethical ideals shape healthcare. Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, Bar Ilan University, Israel

  • 2021 How to Make "Objective" Knowledge? Program in Science and Technology Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

  • 2020 Objectivity in the Making: On Objectivity as an Ideal and as a Practice at the Israeli Sal Committee. Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

  • 2020 Bureaucratic Virtue: “Objectivity” at the Israeli Sal Committee. Department of Anthropology, Haifa University, Israel.

  • 2019 “We have No Room for Emotions”: On the Meaning of Objectivity at the Israeli Sal Committee. Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.


  • 2022       Dilemmas in Feminist Fieldwork: A Roundtable Conversation, Israeli Anthropological Association Annual Conference

  • 2021       Mooded Data. "Engagements with Anthropology of Morality" conference

  • Department of Anthropology, University of Haifa. Zoom conference.

  • 2021       Bureaucratizing Like a Girl. Society for Psychological Anthropology. Zoom conference

  • 2019       Transgressing Hegemony: A Meditation on Pharmaceutical Corruption. American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

  • 2019       Organizer, Round Table on Medical Anthropology’s Ethical Common-Sens. International Workshop in Medical Anthropology, Van Leer Institute and Ben-Gurion University, Israel

  • 2019       Objectivity as Following Procedures: Conflicting Bureaucratic Legacies in a Bioethical Present. Bioethics and the Legacies of the Holocaust international symposium. Berlin, Germany.

  • 2018       “Statistical Patient” vs. “Identifiable Patient”: The Object of Care in an Israeli Medical Bureaucracy as a site of Adaptation and Resistance. American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, San Jose, CA.

  • 2018       Between Responsibility and Accountability: Problematizing Israeli Healthcare Policymaking. Association for Israel Studies Annual Conference

  • 2017       Ethical visions, Moral subjects, and the everyday enactment of a medical bureaucracy. Society for Psychological Anthropology , New Orleans, LA.  

  • 2016       Challenging Power through Moral Expectations: Patients Resisting Medical Policy-Making in Israel. American Anthropological Association Annual Conference , Minneapolis,, MN.

  • 2016       Navigating Moral Dilemmas: How Social Workers Handle Moral Discourses of Care. Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Conference, Vancouver, Canada.