Sunday, February 23, 2014

First Reader Response - Negative Effects of Racism and "Othering" on Health

I found the reading this week incredibly interesting as more because it focused less on the biological aspects of a problem and more on the ways in which socioeconomics can affect all aspects of health.  Especially in the Dressler reading, it is evident that many health professionals have difficulty thinking about race as both a biological construction and a “culturally constructed identity” (Dressler 232).  The most surprising point in the Dressler article was the short discussion on smoking.  I would have thought the socioeconomic status of racial difference would influence the percentage of smokers much more than it did.  In fact, Dressler mentions, “Smoking is not a factor likely to account for health disparities because there is virtually no difference in rates of smoking between black and white men” (Dressler 237).  I also found the paper’s mentions of stress effecting health pertinent to our readings from last week.  I was most surprised reading the Viruell-Fuentes research because I through the results would have demonstrated greater “othering” noted by first generation women.  However, upon reading the article, it made perfect sense why second generation women experienced and felt stressed and victimized a significantly more by non-Hispanic peers.  At first I was confused as to how the data the team received related to health, but in the final stages and conclusions of their research, the health aspect came to light and I was able to relate the previous Dressler article to predict the outcomes of “othering” on health as a psychosocial stressor which could have a negative impact. 

Dressler, William W.  Oths, Kathryn S.  Gravlee, Clarence C.  Race and Ethnicity in Public Health Research: Models to Explain Health Disparities.  Annual Reviews.  2005. 

1 comment:

  1. I too found the reading this week very interesting since it took a different approach to the problems surrounding the socioeconomic hardships within the health field. I took a class last year (EPSY 202), which focused primarily on racism and discrimination as well as hardships that involve health fields and the access to health care based on your socioeconomic status. After taking the class I was enlightened so much on how just the color of your skin or how much money you have to your name can depend on whom you will become for the rest of your life.
    After comparing that class and the knowledge I gained from the lectures, and comparing it to this reading I was more comfortable understanding how Dressler pointed out some factors such as “smoking is not a factor likely to account for health disparities because there is virtually no difference in rates of smoking between black and white men”. I think I can do research and point out how there could be some flaws to this. If you look at statistics and see the rate of smoking black men and the rate of smoking black men, the health disparities would be glaring with the black man most likely becoming more ill and struggling to stay healthy when becoming compared to the white man.
    Overall, I think these readings will allow us to have a deeper understanding of the negative effects of racism and “Othering” when it comes to the health field. I enjoy learning new things about topics that I already have a basic understanding on, and I think the data in these readings could shine some light on how there could be so much change when you look at generation after generation and compare the research from decades ago to now when looking at disparities.