What to Do with Race? Changing Notions of Race in the Social Sciences


The Supplement to the Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health documents that race, ethnicity, and culture are linked to the use of mental health services and the receipt of quality mental health care. The Supplement provides an elaborate discussion on how culture affects mental health care without a corresponding level of discourse on race. How race is handled in the Supplement suggests that it is still a sensitive topic and one that is difficult to address in a public report. This sensitivity parallels the difficulties that the social sciences have had in investigating issues of race. In this paper, we highlight some perspectives that have influenced the way race has been studied in the past and how these views reflect the general political climates of the eras that produced them.

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Takeuchi, D.T., Gage, SJ.L. What to Do with Race? Changing Notions of Race in the Social Sciences. Cult Med Psychiatry 27, 435–445 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:MEDI.0000005482.58402.44

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  • ethnicity
  • mental health
  • race