Racism, Other Discriminations and Effects on Health

by AmandaMacevicius on November 17, 2016 - 5:28pm


            The authors of the article entitled “Racism, Other Discriminations and Effects on Health” conducted a study (2014) in order to understand the occurrence of perceived racism in immigrant and native Spanish populations.  Furthermore, the purpose extended to demonstrating the effects of perceived racism, as well as other forms of discrimination on the health of, particularly, the immigrant population residing in Spain.  Racism was underlined as being an important determinant to the health of an individual and thus, the results were expected to demonstrate the relationship between racism and various negative impacts on the health of immigrant populations.  The study consisted of questionnaires or surveys that were allotted to one adult in each household, as well as face-to-face interviews. The variables recognized by the authors of the article were divided into three different categories: study variables, which included perceived racism and other forms of discrimination, explicative variables, including aspects such as sex, employment status and age, and control variables involving self-perceived health.  The authors of the article explain from the observed statistics that a general perspective demonstrates that immigrant populations show a greater occurrence of perceived racism as opposed to the native Spanish population. Moreover, it is important to note that the experimental results state, as well, that perceived racism is most prominent among individuals who are young, separated and have low levels of social support.  This is present in both the native Spanish population as well as the immigrant population.  However, the highest frequencies of racist experiences are among both the men and the women of the immigrant population, although immigrant women make up the highest frequency in terms of experiences of other forms of discrimination (religion, sexual orientation, sex and social class) and perceived racism combined.  The article also emphasizes that immigrant men have a higher probability of experiencing racism when applying for employment while the immigrant population as a whole has a higher probability of undergoing racism in regards to medical care.  The research stipulates that poor mental health care experiences are directly associated with perceived racism, while racism along with other forms of discrimination are related to an increase in smoking –mainly in men- and an increase in injury – mainly in women-. The authors conclude their research in stating that foreign individuals in Spain are experiencing racism, especially when it comes to women.  Additionally, the occurrence of racism in Spain is similar to that of other European countries with visible immigrant populations and ethnic minorities. The study stresses that health care institutions are areas in which perceived racism in immigrant populations is greater than in that of the native Spanish population. Finally, the article specifies that the workplace essentially encourages discrimination in the way that immigrant populations in Spain are often associated with lower levels of employment and poor employment conditions. 



            This study was both clever and insightful seeing as it was conducted from both a standard perspective (survey) and a detailed personal perspective (face-to-face interview).  This allowed the conductors of the experiment to therefore collect a wide range of data, which consequently, resulted in the ability to associate multiple variables to each other and create additional relationships and connections.  I appreciated the fact that the article focused on one particular area –Spain-, which in turn, facilitated the comprehension of the research.  The authors, however, briefly comment on the several limitations present when it comes to analyzing the research.  One limitation brings forth the idea that it may have been likely that various individuals who have experienced racism failed to recognize it, which may consequently disrupt the experimental data.   This statement allowed me to reflect upon the number of individuals who require further education when it comes to race and racism.  There exist many people who have difficulty understanding these concepts or simply fail to admit that they are a source of human conflict.  Education is the key in having the ability to recognize perceived racism and its impact on societal life.  In closing, the authors did an excellent job in defining racism seeing as it kept in mind both systemic and individual racism.    



Gil-gonzález, D., Vives-cases, C., Borrell, C., Agudelo-suárez, A., Davó-blanes, M.C., Mirailles, J., & Álvarez-dardet, C. (2014).  Racism, Other Discriminations and Effects on Health.  Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 16, 301-309.  Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.champlaincollege.qc.ca/pqrl/docview/1...


This post fascinated me because of the pain and anguish that comes to those who have suffered racial and other forms of discrimination. This pain and anguish has got to cause grief and grief is not a healthy emotion. Thus I was really excited to jump into this article.
The article was a little disappointing because it was too broad. It really didn’t get into any specifics about how health is affected by discrimination. It wasn’t a very scientific research though it still has its merits.
It was fascinating though that the study was conducted in Spain. We are so in tune to everything American that it was refreshing to see something done in another country. In another maybe weird twist to that statement, it was interesting to see that there is discrimination in other countries besides America. No discrimination is good. After the last election though, one would think that is this day and age only America is racist.
The post could have been a little more specific as to what immigrants were discriminated against. Were the immigrants Muslims, Syrians etc? This is important because is there new racism in Europe? There has always been hatred amongst certain people but are there new ones fermenting? This is important because this fermenting must be stopped. Get it before it grows. We do not need a new round of hatred.
If these immigrants are war refugees there should be a marketing campaign to awaken the host countries’ people’s humanitarian nature. Show them their immigrant’s war torn land and how the host country is giving them a temporary home or a new home. Most people want to help their fellow man.

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