In their later years, Americans of different racial and ethnic backgrounds are not in equally good--or equally poor--health. There is wide variation, but on average older Whites are healthier than older Blacks and tend to outlive them. But Whites tend to be in poorer health than Hispanics and Asian Americans. This volume documents the differentials and considers possible explanations. Selection processes play a role: selective migration, for instance, or selective survival to advanced ages. Health differentials originate early in life, possibly even before birth, and are affected by events and experiences throughout the life course. Differences in socioeconomic status, risk behavior, social relations, and health care all play a role. Separate chapters consider the contribution of such factors and the biopsychosocial mechanisms that link them to health. This volume provides the empirical evidence for the research agenda provided in the separate report of the Panel on Race, Ethnicity, and Health in Later Life.
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Making comparisons is central to the study of immigration and ethnicity because these fields by their very nature examine patterns of contact and interaction among different groups. By adopting a comparative approach, historians can test traditional stereotypes about various immigrant populations, pointing out the defining characteristics of these groups and explaining why certain cultural patterns persist while others disappear. The essays in this volume include studies on the similarities and differences among German Catholics and other Catholic groups in America, the political activities of nineteenth-century German and Irish immigrants, and German-American responses to the differing policies of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany. Distributed for the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison.
In the United States, some populations suffer from far greater disparities in health than others. Those disparities are caused not only by fundamental differences in health status across segments of the population, but also because of inequities in factors that impact health status, so-called determinants of health. Only part of an individual's health status depends on his or her behavior and choice; community-wide problems like poverty, unemployment, poor education, inadequate housing, poor public transportation, interpersonal violence, and decaying neighborhoods also contribute to health inequities, as well as the historic and ongoing interplay of structures, policies, and norms that shape lives. When these factors are not optimal in a community, it does not mean they are intractable: such inequities can be mitigated by social policies that can shape health in powerful ways. Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity seeks to delineate the causes of and the solutions to health inequities in the United States. This report focuses on what communities can do to promote health equity, what actions are needed by the many and varied stakeholders that are part of communities or support them, as well as the root causes and structural barriers that need to be overcome.
As the population of older Americans grows, it is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. Differences in health by racial and ethnic status could be increasingly consequential for health policy and programs. Such differences are are not simply a matter of education or ability to pay for health care. For instance, Asian Americans and Hispanics appear to be in better health, on a number of indicators, than White Americans, despite, on average, lower socioeconomic status. The reasons are complex, including possible roles for such factors as selective migration, risk behaviors, exposure to various stressors, patient attitudes, and geographic variation in health care. This volume, produced by a multidisciplinary panel, considers such possible explanations for racial and ethnic health differentials within an integrated framework. It provides a concise summary of available research and lays out a research agenda to address the many uncertainties in current knowledge. It recommends, for instance, looking at health differentials across the life course and deciphering the links between factors presumably producing differentials and biopsychosocial mechanisms that lead to impaired health.
"Without a doubt, Tomás Jiménez has written the single most important contemporary academic study on Mexican American assimilation. Clear-headed, crisply written, and free of ideological bias, Replenished Ethnicity is an extraordinary breakthrough in our understanding of the largest immigrant group in the history of the United States. Bravo!"--Gregory Rodriguez, author of Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds: Mexican Immigration and the Future of Race in America "Tomás Jiménez's Replenished Ethnicity brilliantly navigates between the two opposing perils in the study of Mexican Americans--pessimistically overracializing them or optimistically overassimilating them. This much-needed and gracefully written book illuminates the on-the-ground situations of the later generations of this key American group, insightfully identifying and analyzing the unique factor operating in its case: more or less continuous immigration for more than a century. Jiménez's work provides a landmark for all future studies of Latin American incorporation into U.S. society."--Richard Alba, author of Remaking the American Mainstream "Tomás Jiménez's study adds a much-needed but long absent element to our understanding of how immigration contributes to the construction and reproduction of Mexican American ethnicity even as it continuously evolves. His work provides useful and needed detail that are absent even from the most reliable surveys."--Rodolfo de la Garza, Columbia University "In a masterful piece of social science, Tomás Jiménez debunks allegations about slow social and cultural assimilation of Mexican Americans through a richly textured ethnographic account of Mexican Americans' lived experiences in two communities with distinct immigration experiences. Population replenishment via immigration, he claims, maintains distinctiveness of established Mexican origin generations via infusion of cultural elixir-in varying doses over time and place. Ironically, it is the vast heterogeneity of Mexican Americans-generational depth, socioeconomic, national origin and legal-that both contributes to the population's ethnic uniqueness and yet defies singular theoretical frameworks. Jiménez's page-turner uses the Mexican American ethnic prism to re-interpret the U.S. ethnic tapestry and revise the canonical view of assimilation. Replenished Ethnicity sets a high bar for second generation scholarship about Mexican Americans."--Marta Tienda, The Office of Population Research at Princeton University
What do we mean in the U.S. today when we use the terms "race" and "ethnicity"? What do we mean, and what do we understand, when we use the five standard race-ethnic categories: White, Black, Asian, Native American, and Hispanic? Most federal and state data collection agencies use these terms without explicit attention, and thereby create categories of American ethnicity for political purposes. Davora Yanow argues that "race" and "ethnicity" are socially constructed concepts, not objective, scientifically-grounded variables, and do not accurately represent the real world. She joins the growing critique of the unreflective use of "race" and "ethnicity" in American policymaking through an exploration of how these terms are used in everyday practices. Her book is filled with current examples and analyses from a wealth of social institutions: health care, education, criminal justice, and government at all levels. The questions she raises for society and public policy are endless. Yanow maintains that these issues must be addressed explicitly, publicly, and nationally if we are to make our policy and administrative institutions operate more effectively.
Racial and ethnic disparities in health care are known to reflect access to care and other issues that arise from differing socioeconomic conditions. There is, however, increasing evidence that even after such differences are accounted for, race and ethnicity remain significant predictors of the quality of health care received. In Unequal Treatment, a panel of experts documents this evidence and explores how persons of color experience the health care environment. The book examines how disparities in treatment may arise in health care systems and looks at aspects of the clinical encounter that may contribute to such disparities. Patients' and providers' attitudes, expectations, and behavior are analyzed. How to intervene? Unequal Treatment offers recommendations for improvements in medical care financing, allocation of care, availability of language translation, community-based care, and other arenas. The committee highlights the potential of cross-cultural education to improve provider-patient communication and offers a detailed look at how to integrate cross-cultural learning within the health professions. The book concludes with recommendations for data collection and research initiatives. Unequal Treatment will be vitally important to health care policymakers, administrators, providers, educators, and students as well as advocates for people of color.