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Finding aid of the Joseph M. Carrier Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Joseph M. Carrier papers
    Dates: 1908-2002
    Bulk Dates: (bulk 1970-1990)
    Collection number: Coll2007-001
    Creator: Carrier, Joseph M., 1927-
    Collection Size: 22 archive boxes 9.3 linear feet
    Repository: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.
    Los Angeles, California 9007
    Abstract: Correspondence, surveys, questionnaires, interviews, research notes, journal reviews, conference materials, and published reference materials documenting Carrier's anthropological field research, particularly in the years 1970-1990, on homosexual behaviors of men of Spanish and Indian ancestry in Mexico and of Hispanic and Vietnamese males in Southern California and his work with the Orange County Health Agency AIDS Community Education Project (ACEP).
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English and Spanish


    The collection is open to researchers when ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives is open, and at other times by appointment. Access to some documents containing personal identifiable information may be restricted. For further information, contact the Archives staff.

    Publication Rights

    Researchers wishing to publish material must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, as physical owner and as holder of the copyright to the materials.

    Preferred Citation

    Box #, folder #, Joseph M. Carrier papers, Coll2007-001, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Joseph M. Carrier, June 22, 2006.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Michael C. Oliveira, January 17, 2007.
    Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


    Joseph Michel Carrier, Jr., was born on December 23, 1927, in Miami, Florida. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1945, but was still in boot camp when World War II ended, and was discharged early. After earning a BA in Geography from the University of Miami in 1950, he was recalled by the Marines for fourteen months and completed his tour as a sergeant. In 1952, he received an MA in Economics from Purdue University. The following year Carrier traveled on a Fulbright Scholarship to India, where he researched the economic effects of energy resource distribution in the northeastern region of the country. In 1954, he taught geography at the University of Miami. He then relocated to California where, after a brief stint at North American Aviation, he joined the Rand Corporation, for whom he worked from 1956 to 1968 as a research analyst on various projects. In 1968, upon returning to the United States after performing field research as a counterinsurgency specialist in Vietnam, Carrier was told of his pending dismissal for "economic reasons." In fact, his fellow employees in Saigon had reported a suspected homosexual affair with a Vietnamese Air Force officer to his superior in the Santa Monica office. At the time Rand considered homosexuals a security risk and subject to dismissal; however Carrier negotiated his departure from the company without admitting to the affair. His resignation provided Carrier the opportunity to return to school to study anthropology. Professor Duane Metzger of the University of California at Irvine was open to the concept of a graduate student researching male homosexuality, but advised Carrier to avoid mentioning homosexuality when applying to the graduate program. The UC Irvine program allowed one off-campus expert to serve on graduate advisory committees. Carrier sought out Evelyn Hooker, a UCLA professor and research authority on homosexuality. At Metzger's suggestion Carrier focused on homosexual behaviors in Mexico. He obtained a National Institute of Health two-year pre-doctoral fellowship and from the autumn of 1969 to the spring of 1971, conducted research in Guadalajara, observing and interviewing urban Mexican mestizos men who had sex with men. This was the first doctoral-level anthropological field research focused on homosexual behaviors. He received his Ph.D. the following year.
    With no prospects for a position in sex research, Carrier briefly served as a staff officer at the National Academy of Science, where he researched the effects of herbicides utilized by American military forces in South Vietnam. From 1973 to 1987, he worked part-time as an evaluator of experimental law enforcement programs in the state of California. The part-time nature of this work allowed Carrier to continue his research, and extend the scope of fieldwork into the Mexican states he passed through on his drive from California to Guadalajara. The rise of the AIDS epidemic underscored the importance of Carrier's work, as his research on Mexican men who have sex with men provided public health officials with insights on this previously undocumented world. In the fall of 1987, Carrier joined the Orange County Health Agency AIDS Community Education Project (ACEP) to develop effective HIV/AIDS educational materials for the men of Mexican origin in Orange County. In a county biographical sketch published in 1991 he is described as the health agency's Chief Social Scientist. He retired in 1992. In his final year with ACEP, Carrier conducted an ethnographic study of the sexual behaviors of men of Vietnamese origin in Orange County. He continues to study men of Mexican and Vietnamese origins in order to develop a greater understanding of their sexual behaviors that will allow service providers to create and implement more effective HIV/AIDS educational programs. In 1995, the culmination of more than twenty-five years of his research, De Los Otros: Intimacy and Homosexuality among Mexican Men was published.
    Joseph M. Carrier Papers, Coll2007-001, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
    Carrier, Joseph M. De los otros intimacy and homosexuality among Mexican men (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), ix-xxii.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Joseph M. Carrier papers comprise correspondence, surveys, questionnaires, interviews, research notes, journal reviews, conference materials, and published reference materials documenting Carrier's anthropological field research on homosexual behaviors in Mexico and Southern California and his work with the Orange County Health Agency AIDS Community Education Project (ACEP). Materials date from 1908 to 2002, with the bulk from 1970 to 1990.
    The collection is organized into five series: 1) Correspondence, 2) Writings, 3) Research, 4) Professional Activities, and 5) Reference Materials. The Correspondence Series comprises letters related to his research and professional activities. The Writings Series consists of materials relating to Carrier's published works, including his book, De Los Otros: Intimacy and Homosexuality among Mexican Men , and journal articles and reviews. The Research Series comprises Carrier's original field research materials, including interviews, questionnaires, notes, and analysis of collected data, relating to the sexual behaviors of Mexican men in Mexico and Latinos and Vietnamese in Southern California. The Professional Activities Series documents Carrier's activities as peer reviewer, in particular for the Journal of Sex Research and the University of Chicago Press; as a member of the National Institutes of Health Mental Health AIDS Research Review Committee; as editor of the Anthropology Research Group on Homosexuality Newsletter (1979-1980); and as a speaker at national conferences. The Reference Materials Series comprises the bulk of the collection. The materials include copies of book chapters and journal articles, as well as typescripts, in particular on HIV/AIDS among Hispanics, ethnicity, gender, homosexuality, and Vietnamese sexuality. The papers also include materials acquired by Carrier during the late 1980s and early 1990s as a member of the Mental Health AIDS Research Review Committee (MHAZ) which reviewed grant proposals submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of Research for review by the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA) as well as miscellaneous reference materials from the Orange County Health Agency ACEP program. The materials also include newspaper and magazine clippings relating primarily to AIDS, gays, and Mexico, and brochures relating to AIDS/SIDA, and to Carrier's 2001 trip to Thailand.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    AIDS (Disease)--Social aspects
    Anthropology--Research--Gay men
    Anthropology--Research--Sex behavior--Male
    Carrier, Joseph, 1927-
    Gay men--Sexual behavior--Mexico--Guadalajara
    Gay men, Hispanic--Sexual behavior--California
    Gay men, Vietnamese--Sexual behavior--California
    Gay liberation movement--Mexico--Guadalajara
    Sexual behavior surveys--Mexico--Guadalajara