Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic


  • Andrea M. Przybysz
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_634

Racism is the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races (Oxford English Dictionary). This definition applies in four primary contexts, namely, individual, institutional, internalized, and horizontal or cultural racism. Individual racism is the belief and attitude set as well as an individual’s actions that support or perpetuate racism. Institutional racism is a term coined by Stokely Carmichael and is best described as the collective failure of an organization to provide appropriate and professional services to people because of their color, culture, or ethnicity. This concept covers government, universities, and private business, and is perhaps the bleakest kind of discrimination due to the numbers of individuals who are affected by institutional policies and mores. Internalized racism happens when an individual knows that stereotyping or certain...

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Suggested Readings

  1. American College of Physicians. (2004). Racial and ethnic disparities in health care: A position paper of the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 141, 226–228.Google Scholar
  2. Bhugra, D., Harding, C., & Lippett, R. (2004). Pathways into care and satisfaction with primary care for black patients in South London. Journal of Mental Health, 13(2), 171–183.Google Scholar
  3. Fine, M. J. (2005). The role of race and genetics in health disparities research. American Journal of Public Health, 95(12), 2125–2128.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Fiscella, K., Franks, P., Doescher, M. P., & Saver, B. G. (2002). Disparities in health care by race, ethnicity, and language among the insured: Findings from a national sample. Medical Care, 40(1), 52–59.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Gadalla, T. M. (2008). Comparison of users and non-users of mental health services among depressed women: A national study. Women & Health, 47(1), 1–19.Google Scholar
  6. Gee, G. C., Ryan, A., Laflamme, D. J., & Holt, J. (2006). Self-reported discrimination and mental health status among African descendants, Mexican Americans, and other Latinos in the New Hampshire REACH 2010 Initiative: The added dimension of immigration. American Journal of Public Health, 96(10), 1821–1828.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Gee, G. C., Spencer, M. S., Chen, J., & Takeuchi, D. (2007). A nationwide study of discrimination and chronic health conditions among Asian Americans. American Journal of Public Health, 97(7), 1275–1282.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Haas, J. S., Phillips, K. A., Sonneborn, D., McCulloch, C. E., Baker, L. C., & Kaplan, C. P. (2004). Variation in access to health care for different racial/ethnic groups by the racial/ethnic composition of an individual’s county of residence. Medical Care, 42(7), 707–714.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Krieger, N., Smith, K., Naishadham, D., Hartman, C., & Barbeau, E. M. (2005). Experiences of discrimination: Validity and reliability of a self-report measure for population health research on racism and health. Social Science & Medicine, 61(7), 1576–1596.Google Scholar
  10. Quan, H., Fong, A., De Coster, C., Wang, J., Musto, R., & Noseworthy, T. W. (2006). Variation in health services utilization among ethnic populations. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 174(6), 787–791.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Hyman, I. (2009). Racism as a determinant of immigrant health. Policy brief for the Strategic Initiatives and Innovations Directorate (SIID) of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Retrieved from http://canada.metropolis.net/pdfs/racism_policy_brief_e.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea M. Przybysz
    • 1
  1. 1.Case Western Reserve University School of LawClevelandUSA