Title: Race, Culture and Health: Conceptual and Methodological Innovations
Abstract: Building a culture of health and achieving health equity requires that we engage cultural processes in a more meaningful way. Cultural processes and systems are commonly referenced in health inequity scholarship but empirical research generally lags behind this conceptual emphasis. I argue that employing a transdisciplinary approach to examining intersections of culture, structure and racism is a valuable analytical tool for understanding the production of social and racial inequities in health. In this talk, I’ll discuss conceptual work advancing the concept of “cultural racism” in relation to racial inequities in health and will also provide an overview of related empirical projects: 1) a laboratory experiment examining the effects of media-based racism on physiological, psychological and behavioral stress responses, 2) a data science project exploring ways to assess chronic exposure to media-based racism and possible links to population health and 3) the use of virtual reality to promote structural competence regarding the structural and cultural roots of racism. In lieu of a deep dive on a single project or paper, the presentation seeks to support a rich conversation about the need for conceptual and methodological innovation in service of better understanding and addressing racial inequities in health.