Kieger And Bassett Essay

439 Words2 Pages
The Health of Black Folk” by Nancy Krieger and Mary Bassett analyze and criticize the ways in which modern society rationalizes the illness in the African American community. There are three different models that the authors criticize for their failure to capture the true cause of so-called racial illnesses. A model is a set of assumptions that a guide a search. Models play a very important role in scientific explanation because it a representation of assumptions about the essential structure and relationships of objects. The authors feel the real reason for the differences in the disease susceptibility are social and class based. The three different models are the genetic model, the environmental model and The Marxist paradigm. Heart disease, stroke, and cancer are the racial health disparities the author mention that affects the African American culture. The genetic model implies the theory that "race" is primarily a biological category and that black-white differences in health are genetically determined (Kieger and Bassett 74). The genetic model relies on three basic assumptions which are age, sex, and race in determining racial health disparities among black and white. Kieger and Bassett argue that the health of the black community is not simply the sum of the health of individuals who are “genetically black" but instead chiefly reflects the social forces which create racially oppressed communities in the first place (Kieger and Bassett 74). The environmental model blames poverty for the heath issue with black people. It is characterized by the effects of “inanimate objects, physical forces, or unfortunate social conditions” on a person (Kieger and Bassett 78). This view also neglects the effects that people may have on a person’s health. The Marxist paradigm states that the health issues that affect certain people are

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