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Looking Back to Leap Forward: A Framework for Operationalizing the Structural Racism Construct in Minority and Immigrant Health Research

Citation

Dennis, Alexis C.; Chung, Esther O.; Lodge, Evans K.; Martinez, Rae Anne; & Wilbur, Rachel E. (Forthcoming). Looking Back to Leap Forward: A Framework for Operationalizing the Structural Racism Construct in Minority and Immigrant Health Research. Ethnicity & Disease. PMCID: PMC Journal - In Process

Abstract

Racism is now widely recognized as a fundamental cause of health inequalities in the United States. As such, health scholars have rightly turned their attention towards examining the role of structural racism in fostering morbidity and mortality. However, to date, much of the empirical structural racism-health disparities literature limits the operationalization of structural racism to a single domain or orients the construct around a White/Black racial frame. This operationalization approach is incomprehensive and overlooks the heterogeneity of historical and lived experiences among other racial and ethnic groups. To address this gap, we present a theoretically grounded framework that illuminates core mutually reinforcing domains of structural racism that have stratified opportunities for health in the United States. We catalog instances of structural discrimination that were particularly constraining (or advantageous) to the health of racial and ethnic groups from the late 1400s to present. We then illustrate the utility of this framework by applying it to American Indians or Alaska Natives and discuss the framework’s broader implications for empirical health research. This framework should help future scholars across disciplines as they identify and interrogate important laws, policies, and norms that have differentially constrained opportunities for health among racial and ethnic groups.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type

Regular

Year Published

Forthcoming

Journal Title

Ethnicity & Disease

Author(s)

Dennis, Alexis C.
Chung, Esther O.
Lodge, Evans K.
Martinez, Rae Anne
Wilbur, Rachel E.

PMCID

PMC Journal - In Process

Continent/Country

United States of America

State

Nonspecific

Race/Ethnicity

Black
African-American
Hispanic/Latinx
Alaska Native/American Indian