Institutionalized Racism In Minority Groups

1046 Words5 Pages
There are significant differences in health outcomes among Americans of different racial and ethnic groups. Differences in socioeconomic status play a significant role in determining the health outcomes of certain minority groups, however it doesn’t account for all differences, especially identifiable health disparities among groups of the same socioeconomic status. Racism, whether at the institutional, interpersonal or intrapersonal level, affects various aspects of an individual’s life that can have permanent health implications even before birth in the form of chronic stress. Chronic stress results from perceived social and emotional pressures that build up over time. Chronic stress results in worse health outcomes, affecting the immune, vascular, and neuroendocrine systems in the forms of inflammation and hypertension, with patterns that can be observed among minority populations. A common contributor to chronic stress is racism, or the belief that race is a primary determining factor of human characteristics and that one racial group is superior to another, resulting in prejudice and discrimination. Racism is an institutionalized social construct ingrained in American society that has serious health consequences. Institutionalized racism is the source of structural barriers between minority groups and greater health outcomes. Institutionalized racism affects where members of minority groups live, their relationship with the penal system, and further down the line, how
Open Document