W1: Health and Ethnicity

In America and all over the world much emphasis is placed on what is thought to be race. Usually people make the determination of what race is based on visual factors like skin color. However, those people would be wrong. Biologically speaking there is no such thing as race. Take for instance Whites and Asians. Most people would classify them as two different races based of visual characteristics, specifically the color of their skin. Scientifically though the people grouped as Asians would be more genetically different amongst themselves than when you compare them to the group of whites. Race is social construct that goes back centuries rather than genetic actualities. What most people confuse or use interchangeable with is actually ethnicity.

Ethnicity basically means people who are like you. People who belong to a certain ethnicity have the same culture, traditions, etc. Also ethnicity it was causes our biases when approaching different topics. It is also what makes it hard to understand other people perspectives on things. Ethnicity can also have influences on different aspect of health. This has been shown over and over again throughout society especially when analyzing immigrants coming to the United States.

The paradox of assimilation is a term describing how first generation immigrants come to America healthier than the average American. As those immigrants produce offspring and proceed from generation to generation their self reported health deteriorates. This is true regardless of where you are an immigrant from. Although more research needs to be done it also is shown that it does not matter where you are an immigrant from in general. Non-Hispanic White immigrants and non-Hispanic Black immigrants face similar self rated health after immigration even though it is also shown that non-Hispanic Black immigrants also face tougher socio-economic disadvantages than their non-Hispanic White immigrant counterparts (Alang, McCreedy, McAlpine). Black immigrant actually had better levels of self reported health when socioeconomic factors where considered compared to Asian, Hispanics, and Whites. Interesting enough however, when length of stay in America was factored in there were no racial or ethnic differences between self reported health (Alang, McCreedy, McAlpine). Obviously what this article is proving is that ethnicity can have many impacts on overall health depending on where you come from and where you live. Although more research and scenarios should be conducted this article proves that being an immigrant to the Unites States, not even an ethnic minority immigrant negatively affects overall self reported health.

Alang, Sirry M., Ellen M. McCreedy, and Donna D. McAlpine. “Race, Ethnicity, and Self-Rated Health Among Immigrants in the United States.” SpringerLink. April 01, 2015. Accessed July 08, 2016. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40615-015-0106-y.

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