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Culture, Race/Ethnicity and Disparities: Fleshing Out the Socio-Cultural Framework for Health Services Disparities

  • Margarita Alegría
  • Bernice A. Pescosolido
  • Sandra Williams
  • Glorisa Canino
Chapter
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Abstract

There is little question that the issue of “health disparities” has been given a central place across medicine and contemporary society of late (e.g., Institute of Medicine 2002). From research, to policy and even to the popular press, the unmasking of the disparities in health and health care for individuals who belong to certain race and ethnic groups has been a prominent theme (van Ryn and Fu 2003). While the attention to these matters is welcome by sociologists and other social scientists, the existence of inequality in health, illness, and healing is hardly a revelation. From the earliest times in our history, the focus on the differential in infant mortality; the incidence and prevalence of disease; and access to, treatment in, and the outcomes of care for those at the lower ends of the stratification hierarchy in any society have been the mainstay of both the sociological and public health enterprises. From Marx, to Durkheim, to Weber in sociology, and from Virchow to Snow to the Roemers outside of sociology, the understanding that stratification plays itself out, in part, in morbidity and mortality statistics represented a principal theme of theory, empirical investigation and the design of interventions (Pescosolido and Kronenfeld 1995).

Keywords

Mental Health Racial Minority Substance Abuse Problem Underrepresented Minority Health Care Outcome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The writing of this chapter was supported by NIH Research Grant # 1P50 MHO 73469 and U01 MH 06220-06A2, both funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as Grant #P60 MD0 02261, funded by the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities. In addition, support as provided from the College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University, to the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margarita Alegría
    • 1
  • Bernice A. Pescosolido
  • Sandra Williams
  • Glorisa Canino
  1. 1.Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical SchoolSomervilleUSA

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