Sunday, February 23, 2014

First Reader: Race and Health

            The most interesting part about this weeks reading for me was the Viruell-Fuentes study about how socio economic status affects the health of immigrants. I thought that the results of the study would be the opposite of what they were, that second generation immigrants would have better health than first generation immigrants as opposed to first generation having better health than second generation immigrants.
            I found the fact that that the first generation immigrants had better health interesting and shocking because I thought that because the first generation had all the added stress of coming to a new country and trying to make a life there, that they would have worse health. On top of that, I didn’t realize that because most immigrants tend to settle in certain areas, they didn’t have as much exposure to racial problems as the second generation immigrants who begin to branch out more into the U.S.

            In the study that was in the reading, Mexican women, both first generation immigrants and second generation immigrants were interviewed about their experiences here in the U.S. It was found that first generation Mexicans were not exposed as much to “others” or as they called it “othering”. Therefore they may not have the added stresses of racial dynamics. They reported less othering than second generation Mexicans. This is what contributed a good amount to first generation immigrants having better health than the second generation. I never knew that race played such a crucial part in ones overall health.

1 comment:

  1. I think that you pointed out some very interesting arguments in your response. I was very caught off guard, as were you, with the statement that second generation immigrants have worst health than first generation. I also thought that the stress level in the first generation immigrants would be a major contribution to the health on them. I thought that being a first generation immigrant would make you feel more nervous about starting a new life and making sure that you do well for yourself and your family. It would be extremely stressful to start a new life and build something from nothing. As a second generation immigrant you at least have some sort of building block to start from which, I thought, would cause less stress. Although, now that I take the time to think about it some more, it does make sense that second generation would have more stress because they are probably worried about not screwing up what their parents created for them. It is like taking over a family business; you do not want to destroy what your family has worked so hard to create so you have a lot of pressure on your hands to make sure that you keep the family’s hard work afloat.