Racial Discrimination and Long Term Health

2118 Words9 Pages
Racial discrimination and long-term health This literature review presents a discussion on the theories of racial discrimination. It then relates these theories of racial discrimination to long-term health. This is followed by a comparison of the theories in order to determine the validity of the relationship. The act of discrimination can be defined as “differential behavioral acts, ranging from exclusion to physical assault, that disadvantage an individual or group based on social group membership (Brown & Bigler, 2005). Racism is a form of discrimination that “stems from the belief that groups should be treated differently according to phenotypic difference” (McKenzie, 2002). Racial discrimination comes in many forms, the most obvious being public displays of racism, these can come in the form of ‘hate crimes’ which are very direct. However, perceived racism that is the interpretation of negative treatment, or uncomfortable social situations experienced by affected individuals as a direct result of race. Perceived racism can be argued to be the most influential form of discrimination in relation to health. It is commonly recognised that racial discrimination can have a number of negative consequences. Of these, perhaps the most detrimental is the effect on long-term health. Ethnic minorities face discrimination simply because they are in the minority of the population and do not necessarily hold the same values, speak the same language, have the same skin colour, religion, culture, etc as the rest of the population. The social dominance theory (Sidanius, 1993) reveals the reasons of how the dominant population justify the oppression of minorities. The logic behind the social dominance theory is that if you are a member of the favoured group (majority of the population) and you see other groups (ethnic minority) being

More about Racial Discrimination and Long Term Health

Open Document