Ethnic Differences Between The United Kingdom And America

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Throughout this paper I will focus on data from the United Kingdom and America and focus solely on the disadvantages that ethnic minority groups endure which effect their health status. In doing this, I will highlight several explanations put forth by social scientists, such as cultural, socioeconomic and racial approaches whilst incorporating different literature, such as the works of Bartley (2004), Nettleton (2013) and Nazroo (1997). Before exploring the many explanations that social scientists offer to explain the ethnic differences in health status, it is important to acknowledge that gathering data on ‘racial or ethnic minorities’ is extremely problematic. This is because there are not any universally agreed definitions of ethnic or racial groups and definitions change over time (Aspinall, 2002). Such problems of the lack of conceptual clarification stem from whether researchers presume that race and ethnicity are a biological or a social characteristic. To overcome this problem, throughout this paper, I will use the term ‘racial or ethnic minority’ to refer to any group of people who are exposed to unfavourable treatment because of their ‘national origins, shared social histories, or religion’ as outlined in the works of Bartley (2004: 151). Until recent years there has not been a huge amount of literature exploring the patterns between ethnicity and health status. The literature that was available often focussed on biomedical explanations or focused on diseases more
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