Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic


  • Rosalyn Negrón
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_523

There are at least two meanings of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism can be defined as a demographic condition in which diverse cultural groups coexist within local or national boundaries. Multiculturalism also describes a sociopolitical philosophy that promotes respect, understanding, and preservation of cultural differences. Both of these multiculturalisms have important consequences for the equitable provision of healthcare. As a demographic reality, multiculturalism demands public health policy that provides healthcare access to multiple and growing subpopulations. Multiculturalism as a sociopolitical ideal entails that such provision of healthcare be sensitive to different cultural practices and worldviews. As such, multiculturalism attunes health practitioners and policy makers to both the quantity and quality of healthcare for diverse populations.

Especially since the 1960s, when civil rights and independence movements and shifts in immigration policies helped to reconfigure...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Suggested Readings

  1. Bhopal, R. S. (2007). Ethnicity, race, and health in multicultural societies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Campinha-Bacote, J. (2002). The process of cultural competence in the delivery of healthcare services: A model of care. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 13(3), 181–184.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. National Committee for Quality Assurance and Lilly USA. (2011). Multicultural healthcare: A quality improvement guide. Retrieved May 10, 2011, from http://www.clashealth.org/
  2. Ross, H. (2006). Multiculturalism in healthcare. Retrieved May 10, 2011, from http://www.cookross.com/images/hhn%20-%20multiculturalism%20in%20healthcare.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalyn Negrón
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Massachusetts-BostonBostonUSA