Health, Ethnicity and Diabetes

Racialised Constructions of 'Risky' South Asian Bodies

  • Harshad Keval

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Harshad Keval
    Pages 1-11
  3. Contextualising the ‘Risky’ South Asian Diabetic Body

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Harshad Keval
      Pages 39-59
    3. Harshad Keval
      Pages 87-98
  4. Resisting Constructions of Risk: The Counter-Narratives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 99-103
    2. Harshad Keval
      Pages 105-128
    3. Harshad Keval
      Pages 129-145
    4. Harshad Keval
      Pages 147-166
    5. Harshad Keval
      Pages 185-194
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 195-201

About this book


This book explores the often contentious relationship between health, concepts of race and ethnicity, and the impact on South Asian groups. Using medical sociological and anthropological perspectives, it excavates racialised constructions of diabetes ‘risk’ within discourses, and highlights the contrasting counter narratives in people’s accounts of their everyday lives.

By identifying a number of components to the discursive, racialised construction of ‘risky’ South Asian bodies, this book problematises taken for granted understandings of culture, lifestyle and genetic risk. The mobilisation of these mechanisms in health science and interventions result in a racialising gaze, directed at groups already experiencing historically embedded race-related issues. The book situates these constructions of risk against the emergent, fluid and dynamic counter narratives to risk constructions. The new found momentum in genetic science is also critiqued in its formulation of racial-genetic risk, especially in the case of diabetes in South Asian groups, and is identified as perpetuating a series of racializing processes.


Science and society Disease Illness Race Ethnicity Body Medical sociology Minority cultures Hindu Gujaratis socio-cultural studies

Authors and affiliations

  • Harshad Keval
    • 1
  1. 1.Canterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-45702-8
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-45703-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site