Paper Title

Revisiting Intersectionality: A Framework for Addressing Health Disparities among African American Women

Panel

Race, Politics, and Health

Location

Room 221, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

31-3-2016 3:30 PM

End Date

31-3-2016 4:45 PM

Keywords

revisiting intersectionality, historical trauma theory, health disparities, African American women, multidisciplinary scholarship, social sciences, community based participatory research

Abstract

Based on the work of scholars in women’s and gender studies, anthropology, sociology, and public health, this paper revisits the concept of intersectionality, for the purposes of employing it as a theoretical framework for addressing health disparities among African American women. The turn from intersectionality has contributed to the notion of collective marginalization among all women, instead of considering the unique characteristics of African American women that influence their experiences of sexism, racism and classism in all areas of their lives. Historical trauma theory posits that minority populations exposed to collective trauma over a long period of time have a pre-disposition to disease and health disparities for generations, long after the initial trauma occurred; asserting that historical trauma leads to an intergenerational cycle of trauma response. Emerging scholarship in the field of public health suggests that that although myriad public health research studies exist in regards to minority populations, it is rare for these studies to include intersectionality as a part of their theoretical framework. Intersectionality, therefore, becomes a critical theoretical framework for research conducted about minority populations for the purposes of investigating health disparities, among African American women in particular.

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Mar 31st, 3:30 PM Mar 31st, 4:45 PM

Revisiting Intersectionality: A Framework for Addressing Health Disparities among African American Women

Room 221, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Based on the work of scholars in women’s and gender studies, anthropology, sociology, and public health, this paper revisits the concept of intersectionality, for the purposes of employing it as a theoretical framework for addressing health disparities among African American women. The turn from intersectionality has contributed to the notion of collective marginalization among all women, instead of considering the unique characteristics of African American women that influence their experiences of sexism, racism and classism in all areas of their lives. Historical trauma theory posits that minority populations exposed to collective trauma over a long period of time have a pre-disposition to disease and health disparities for generations, long after the initial trauma occurred; asserting that historical trauma leads to an intergenerational cycle of trauma response. Emerging scholarship in the field of public health suggests that that although myriad public health research studies exist in regards to minority populations, it is rare for these studies to include intersectionality as a part of their theoretical framework. Intersectionality, therefore, becomes a critical theoretical framework for research conducted about minority populations for the purposes of investigating health disparities, among African American women in particular.