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Heart-SickThe Politics of Risk, Inequality, and Heart Disease$
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Janet K. Shim

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814786833

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814786833.001.0001

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The Contested Meanings and Intersections of Race

The Contested Meanings and Intersections of Race

(p.77) 3 The Contested Meanings and Intersections of Race

Janet K. Shim

NYU Press

This chapter describes epidemiologists' and lay people's discontent with racial classification, with special attention to a subtle but significant distinction in the source of their dissatisfaction. Scientists express frustration with categories that have uncertain and leaky boundaries while lay people have criticized the act of categorization itself. Scientists are quite adept at talking about the health implications of race in a piecemeal, separable, factorialized way. For them, race is often constructed as cultural difference, and occasionally as biological difference. On the other hand, race for lay people has a kind of all-encompassing quality to it with links to factors such as family economics, attributions of class, feminized labor, segregation and neighborhood environments, and educational opportunities.

Keywords:   racial classification, health implications, family economics, feminized labor, neighborhood environments

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