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Ethnicity, class and health

Nazroo, Jacques Yzet; (1999) Ethnicity, class and health. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Over the last three decades interest in ethnic differences in health has grown rapidly. However, much of this work has been theoretically under-developed. Explanations for differences are chosen from a modified version of the framework presented in the Black report, including the possibilities that differences are a consequence of: artefacts in the data; cultural differences in health related behaviours; differences in genetic risk; material inequalities; a direct effect of racism; ecological effects; or a product of the migration process. Inevitably, genetic and cultural explanations are favoured. Here data from the Fourth National Survey o f Ethnic Minorities are used to explore the extent of, and possible explanations for, ethnic differences in health. This was a representative survey of ethnic minority and white people, concerned with describing and explaining the experiences of ethnic minority people living in England and Wales. The health and health behaviour outcomes that are focussed on are: general health; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; respiratory disease; depression; psychosis; and smoking. Initially data on absolute and comparative rates of morbidity for broad ethnic groups are presented. These show important differences in health experience across ethnic groups. An exploration of ethnic sub-groups within the Indian category, identified on the basis of religion, reveals that additional differences exist within the broader ethnic categories. Although the data show some migration effects on health experience, these do not contribute to ethnic differences in health. Socioeconomic position is shown to be an important predictor of health experience within ethnic groups. The difficulties of making statistical adjustments for differences in socioeconomic position across ethnic groups are illustrated, and a more sensitive adjustment is made. This shows that inequalities in socioeconomic position make a major contribution to ethnic inequalities in health. It is concluded that social factors are important determinants of ethnic inequalities in health. However, to adequately understand their significance, ethnicity needs to be considered as both structure and as agency.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Ethnicity, class and health
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097940
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