Related Articles about

Forthcoming Articles

 

Social Work Race and Racism
by
Haluk Soydan
  • LAST REVIEWED: 03 August 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 November 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0058

Introduction

In many societies the social work profession operates in a racialized social and psychological environment. Racism is an important factor that has been associated with a range of negative outcomes, including unemployment, stigmatization, substance abuse, and limited access to education. Furthermore, because members of a “racial group” tend to develop collectively shared value systems, behavioral patterns, and lifestyles, they stand out as a group with specific characteristics relating to sex roles, peer relationships, marriage, childbearing, nutrition, physiological changes, and dealing with social, psychological, health, and mental health problems. Thus, social workers have to work in an environment affected by complex factors associated with race as a social construct. Historically, the idea of different races is based on the assumption that there are distinct genetic differences between groups of human beings. However, it is not meaningful to categorize individuals in race groups on the basis of biological and genetic characteristics. Racial categories are constructed by a group itself or others for the purpose of defining social boundaries and the domination of one (racial) group over other (racial) groups, resulting in racism. Typically, social work literature is dedicated to exploring whether racial groups have specific needs and how these needs can be met by the social care services. In the literature and colloquial language, “race” is closely positioned to “ethnicity,” and “ethnicity” is closely positioned to “culture.” Therefore it is recommended that one view all three concept areas for a better understanding of how these concepts relate to each other.

Introductory Works

The literature on race and social work is relatively scattered in terms of concepts and definitions. These introductory works are selected because they give an accessible overview of the literature. Logan 2005, an annotated bibliography, provides a good introduction to this rather scattered literature and resources. Any introduction to race and social work implies a good understanding of race and racism in general; for the purpose of this article, Smedley and Smedley 2005 offers a brief but excellent introduction. Furthermore, Dominelli, et al. 2001 offers race and ethnicity and social work perspectives that stretch beyond the frames of traditional literature, as does Aulette 2017. Constantine and Wing Sue 2006 is complementary by its direct relevance to professional practice. Braun, et al. 2007; Helms, et al. 2005; and Sternberg, et al. 2005 elaborate on current race-related issues raised by modern empirical studies.

  • Aulette, Judy Root. 2017. A global view of race and racism. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book scrutinizes dynamics of racism in multiple countries around world. It explores related issues such apartheid, genocide, colonialism, migration, assimilation, affirmative action, etc. This is a good reading for a quick review of how racism works and is opposed in multiple countries.

    Find this resource:

    • Braun, Lundy, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Duana Fullwiley, et al. 2007. Racial categories in medical practice: How useful are they? PLoS Medicine 4.9: e217.

      DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040287Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Focuses on utilization of racial categories in medical practice but can easily be used to raise the professional standards of social workers as well. Referring to historical evidence and modern genetic research, it shows that “racial profiling” in medical practice can lead to serious medical errors.

      Find this resource:

      • Constantine, Madonna G., and Derald Wing Sue, eds. 2006. Addressing racism: Facilitating cultural competence in mental health and educational settings. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        Takes a genuine race perspective and draws on the experiences of peoples of color in the United States. Besides education, its focus is on racial deficits of mental health and related services. The book also provides a useful antiracism strategy in mental health.

        Find this resource:

        • Dominelli, Lena, Walter Lorenz, and Haluk Soydan, eds. 2001. Beyond racial divides: Ethnicities in social work practice. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.

          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          This collection of articles builds on the dynamic nature of race in a globalizing world, provides an overview of race frameworks from around the world, and discusses how a different race and ethnicity framework may influence the contents and direction of social work practice. The case studies come from Africa, Europe, North America, and Australia.

          Find this resource:

          • Helms, Janet E., Maryam Jernigan, and Jackquelyn Mascher. 2005. The meaning of race in psychology and how to change it. American Psychologist 60.1: 27–36.

            DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.1.27Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            This is a sophisticated work written primarily for psychologists but is pertinent to the social work profession and other professionals who work in social and mental health services, because in many instances psychologists and social workers address the same or similar problems.

            Find this resource:

            • Logan, Sadye L. M., comp. 2005. Social work with people of African descent: A bibliography with annotations. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              This bibliography has more than five hundred references to different types of resources, such as books, Internet resources, and videos. It is a useful resource that covers many aspects of social work practice with people of African descent.

              Find this resource:

              • Smedley, Audrey, and Brian D. Smedley. 2005. Race as biology is fiction, racism as a social problem is real: Anthropological and historical perspectives in the social construction of race. American Psychologist 60.1: 12–26.

                DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.1.16Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                This article provides an introduction to the origins of the concept of race and describes how race is associated with undertreatment or maltreatment of racial minority clients in health, mental health, and social care services. This article is a good introduction easily accessible to undergraduate students.

                Find this resource:

                • Sternberg, Robert J., Elena L. Grigorenko, and Kenneth K. Kidd. 2005. Intelligence, race, and genetics. American Psychologist 60.1: 46–59.

                  DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.1.46Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  Social workers are at times exposed to information suggesting that racially and ethnically constructed groups, such as recent immigrants, underperform because of their race. This Yale-based research group demonstrates that currently there is no evidence on genetic links between race and intelligence, and that it is meaningless to use race in explaining behavioral patterns and performance.

                  Find this resource:

                  Textbooks

                  Each of the works listed in this section may serve as a main text in a course. These textbooks have been published since the 1970s, and their number is increasing. They typically provide social work practice models for antidiscriminatory practice independent of the origins of discriminatory behavior that may be justified by racism or xenophobic or ethnic stereotypes. Devore and Schlesinger 2006 is a good start and provides the basics a student of social work needs to learn. Green 1998, Lynch and Hanson 2004, and Collins and Solomos 2010 are excellent supplementary books. Historically, the social construct “racism” is strongly associated with the slave trade that involved African populations. With this legacy as a backdrop, some social work textbooks address social and mental problems of African Americans and black populations in Europe; Blitz and Pender Greene 2006, Graham 2007, Lago and Thompson 1996, Millam 2002, and Lum 1996 represent this specific genre.

                  • Blitz, Lisa V., and Mary Pender Greene, eds. 2006. Racism and racial identity: Reflections on urban practice in mental health and social services. New York: Haworth.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    A useful reader that examines various aspects of race and racism in therapeutic contexts and covers a broad array of issues in social and mental health care. Case studies of racial issues in specific racial communities with implications for social work practice are useful.

                    Find this resource:

                    • Collins, Patricia Hill, and John Solomos, eds. 2010. The SAGE handbook of race and ethnic studies. London: SAGE.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      This book covers a broad array of issues related to race and ethnicity. It has a mainly a sociological perspective on issues such as how race and ethnicity are theorized, methodological challenges, social differentiation, interactions with other factors such as nation and nationalism, globalization, and gender. Useful reading for social workers.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Devore, Wynetta, and Elfriede G. Schlesinger. 2006. Ethnic-sensitive social work practice. 5th ed. Moonpark, CA: Academic Internet Publishers.

                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        The first comprehensive book providing a social work practice model for antidiscriminatory social work. Although the authors righteously take a broad perspective by using “culture” and “ethnicity” as key concepts, the approach is a response to racially driven discriminatory practices that social work has been exposed to.

                        Find this resource:

                        • Graham, Mekada. 2007. Black issues in social work and social care. Bristol, UK: Policy Press.

                          DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1t89855Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          Draws on earlier models of culturally sensitive social work but has a strong focus on the experiences of black communities. The antidiscriminatory social work advocated by the author extends to diverse fields of social work practice, such as children and families, mental health, older adults, and clients with disabilities.

                          Find this resource:

                          • Green, James W. 1998. Cultural awareness in the human services: A multi-ethnic approach. 3d ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            Provides, similar to Devore and Schlesinger 2006, a comprehensive textbook with a social work model to support social workers in multiethnic, including multiracial, practice. This book has an explicit focus on social work interventions with populations of color.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Lago, Colin, and Joyce M. Thompson. 1996. Race, culture, and counselling. Buckingham, UK: Open Univ. Press.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              This book was written by European authors and reveals some of the experiences of minorities of color in Europe. It provides instrumental advice to social workers and other professionals who work with ethnic and racial minority clients.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Lum, Doman. 1996. Social work practice and people of color: A process-stage model. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks Cole.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                Provides a generic model for social work practice with minorities of color. Lum’s model is, however, adaptable to the specific characteristics of specific groups of color. This is a useful textbook.

                                Find this resource:

                                • Lynch, Eleanor W., and Marci J. Hanson, eds. 2004. Developing cross-cultural competence: A guide for working with young children and their families. 3d ed. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  The model for culturally competent social work is presented in a less detailed fashion than the Lum 1996 model. The originality of this reader is, however, its focus on families of color with disabled children.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Millam, Rosalind. 2002. Anti-discriminatory practice: A guide for workers in childcare and education. 2d ed. London: Continuum International.

                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    A fully updated second edition that provides wide-ranging guidance to antidiscriminatory practice, incorporating practical applications, research findings, and legal issues. It is pertinent to social work in child care services in Britain.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    Journals

                                    Scientific journals dedicated to racism and social work are scarce. Most of the pertinent journals in this field cover not only race and racism but also issues related to ethnicity and culture. Scholarly articles and debates are published in either generic or topical social work journals, such as Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, Child & Family Social Work, and Clinical Social Work Journal, or in journals that cover race, ethnicity, and culture, such as Diversity and Equality in Health and Care and Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work.

                                    Aging

                                    The resources in this section provide introductory and basic reading. Adams, et al. 2002 and Bulatso and Anderson 2004 serve as an introduction to aging among racial groups. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Gero-Ed Center website provides information on educational and training tools. It is wise to start with Bulatso and Anderson 2004 for an overview of the state of the art and the needs in this topic area. The Council on Social Work Education Gero-Ed Center is an excellent resource. In many countries the proportion of older adults, including racial-minority older adults, is increasing rapidly. Racial older adults make up a vulnerable group primarily because of health disparities, cultural differences, and underutilization of services. First-generation-immigrant older adults struggle also with barriers, such as language, lack of insurance, and traditions rooted in rural cultural lifestyles that may not favor modern health, mental health, and social services.

                                    • Adams, Brad, María P. Aranda, Bryan Kemp, and Kellie Takagi. 2002. Ethnic and gender differences in distress among Anglo American, African American, Japanese American, and Mexican American spousal caregivers of persons with dementia. Journal of Clinical Geropsychology 8.4: 279–301.

                                      DOI: 10.1023/A:1019627323558Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      This study shows that ethnoracial factors matter in caregiving to spouses with dementia. Gives important information about caregiving among African Americans.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Bulatso, Rodolfo A., and Norman B. Anderson, eds. 2004. Understanding racial and ethnic differences in health in late life: A research agenda. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        This is an important document that provides a concise summary of available research. The research agenda developed by a multidisciplinary panel lays out the knowledge deficits that exist in this field.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Council on Social Work Education, National Center for Gerontological Social Work Education, Gero-Ed Center.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          This center provides a battery of resources to enhance the gerontological competencies of social workers. Given that the increase in the number of older adults among people of color is dramatic, this center is a useful tool for social work faculty and students.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          Islamophobia

                                          For nearly three decades the term “Islamophobia” has emerged to define unfounded and indiscriminate negative attitudes and hostility to Islam and Muslims. Very often the term is considered analogous to racism and widely used in political and scholarly contexts. Originally the term was explored and defined by the Runnymede Trust Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia 1997, although its historical roots are found in much-earlier opposition by “the West” to Islam as a religion embedded in specific cultural values and perception of the world (Said 2004). The term remains controversial, especially in scholarly circles, because of disagreements to define and measure it in empirical settings (Bleich 2011, Imhoff and Recker 2012). Islamophobia is assumed to exist in many corners of the world where Muslim populations interact with non-Muslim populations (Poynting and Mason 2007) Penketh 2013 and Shier and Graham 2013 provide advice to social workers.

                                          • Bleich, Erik. 2011. What is Islamophobia and how much is there? Theorizing an emerging comparative concept. American Behavioral Scientist 55.12: 1591–1600.

                                            DOI: 10.1177/0002764211409387Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            This article discusses various theoretical and empirical aspects of Islamophobia and defines it as “indiscriminate negative attitudes or emotions directed at Islam or Muslims.” The article also provides indicators that can measure Islamophobia.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Imhoff, Roland, and Julia Recker. 2012. Differentiating Islamophobia: Introducing a new scale to measure Islamoprejudice and secular critique. Political Psychology 33.6: 811–823.

                                              DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9221.2012.00911.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Authors differentiate between Islamoprejudice, which they associate with social dominance and right-wing authoritarianism, and secular critique of Islam as related to religiosity and authoritarianism. Using two samples, the authors develop a psychometric scale to measure Islamoprejudice.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Penketh, Laura. 2013. Social work and Islamophobia: Identity formation among second and third generation Muslim women in north-west England. In Race, racism and social work: Contemporary issues and debates. Edited by Michael Lavalette and Laura Penketh, 151–166. Chicago: Policy Press.

                                                DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307082.003.0009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                This book chapter is an empirical account of Muslim women in England. In the face of raising hostilities against Muslims, women develop coping strategies, an understanding of which can help social workers implement nondiscriminatory interventions.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Poynting, Scott, and Victoria Mason. 2007. The resistible rise of islamophobia: Anti-Muslim racism in the UK and Australia before 11 September 2001. Journal of Sociology 43.1: 61–86.

                                                  DOI: 10.1177/1440783307073935Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  This article compares the rise of anti-Muslim racism in Britain and Australia from 1989 to 2001 as a backdrop to upsurge of Islamophobia that developed after the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Authors see a continuation between pre-9/11 anti-Asian and Anti-Arab racism and post-9/11 anti-Muslim racism.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • Runnymede Trust Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia. 1997. Islamophobia: A challenge for us all. London: Runnymede Trust Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    Although this report is considered by some authors as the first publication that coins the term “Islamophobia,” the commission itself refers to a periodical article published in 1991 in the United States. Nevertheless, the Runnymede report, taking a British perspective, discusses many aspects of the term, and it remains an important contribution.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Said, Edward W. 2004. Orientalism. 25th anniversary ed. New York: Vintage.

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      This influential book is a comprehensive account of the basic distinction between East and West, including history, culture, politics, and style of thought, on the basis of ontological and epistemological assumptions. The author relates the term “orientalism” to the idea of European identity as a superior one in comparison with all the non-European peoples and cultures. Originally published in 1978.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Shier, Micheal L., and John R. Graham. 2013. Identifying social service needs of Muslims living in a post 9/11 era: The role of community-based organizations. Advances in Social Work 14.2: 395–415.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        This article is based on a qualitative study of service provider organizations. The study illustrated the role of service provider organizations in adapting existing services, or creating new services, in response to a changing sociopolitical context.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        Child Maltreatment

                                                        Derezotes, et al. 2005 brings to the reader the most-vital facts and issues of child maltreatment in African American communities. The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare is an excellent online resource that provides information on what works in social work practice with children and their families. Child maltreatment, child neglect, and removal of children from their natural families are big problems in general. However, a related and serious problem is the overrepresentation of racially defined minority children in the child welfare system in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. The prevalence of overrepresentation and its possible causes are described in the sources in this section. Drake, et al. 2011 establishes, however, that overrepresentation among African American and Hispanic children is caused by higher-risk exposure of this population. And Lanier, et al. 2014 attributes the nature of this higher risk to poverty among large parts of African American populations.

                                                        • California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          This is the most reliable and sophisticated database providing vital information about selected evidence-based interventions. The clearinghouse is still under development and will be able to post evidence-based interventions that work explicitly among ethnoracial minority children.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Derezotes, Dennette M., John Poertner, and Mark F. Testa. 2005. Race matters in child welfare: The overrepresentation of African American children in the system. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.

                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            Lays out the dramatic fact that although African Americans made up 15 percent of the child population of the United States in 1999, they accounted for 45 percent of the children in substitute care.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            • Drake, Brett, Jennifer M. Jolley, Paul Lanier, John Fluke, Richard P. Barth, and Melissa Jonson-Reid. 2011. Racial bias in child protection? A comparison of competing explanations using national data. Pediatrics 127.3: 471–478.

                                                              DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-1710Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              This study establishes that racial disproportionality in reported and substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect of black children is attributable to higher risk rather than reporting bias, a fact that had been unknown earlier.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Lanier, Paul, Katie Maguire-Jack, Tova Walsh, Brett Drake, and Grace Hubel. 2014. Race and ethnic differences in early childhood maltreatment in the United States. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics 35.7: 419–426.

                                                                DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000083Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                Based on state-level data, this study shows greater disproportionality of black and Hispanic children living in poverty relative to their white counterparts. This imbalance is associated with greater disproportionality in maltreatment rates. Disproportionality of maltreatment rates is associated with state disproportionality in rates of unmarried and teenage mothers for blacks and Hispanics.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                Crime and Justice

                                                                In many countries the general public tends to blame racial minorities and recent immigrants for certain types of crime; this is very much so in the United States and the rest of the Western world, where immigration from other continents is at times intense. Yet, in some instances, racial-minority populations are overrepresented in incarceration statistics. Although crime and justice is a relatively smaller field of the profession, many social workers serve probation services, prison systems, restorative services, and other related services. This engagement brings great responsibility to social workers. Seen in this perspective, it is little known what works in crime prevention among racial minorities, and there is a controversy in the social work profession regarding the need for racially and ethnically tailored versus mainstream social work interventions. This selection of literature helps the reader understand the circumstances in which African Americans are criminalized, and indicates that more attention is currently given to what works in social work and crime prevention as it concerns racial minorities. Wilson and Lipsey 2003 refers also to the controversies over whether ethnoracial clients should be treated with mainstream or culturally tailored interventions. Alexander 2005 uses historical cases to illustrate the justice system, higher education, the military, and the labor market. Mauer and the Sentencing Project 2006 compares the effect of social policy and criminal policy on African Americans. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse is helpful in terms of program development and evaluation, prevention programming, and harm reduction. Bureau of Justice Statistics provides race-based characteristics of victimization.

                                                                • Alexander, Rudolph, Jr. 2005. Racism, African Americans, and social justice. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Provides extensive statistical data demonstrating injustices in the social and economic system and how African Americans are adversely affected by the deficits of the system. Excellent introduction to the topic.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Bureau of Justice Statistics.

                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) conducts the National Crime Victimization Survey and collects information on victimization characteristics, including race and ethnicity. The BJS website makes available many reports of interest.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. 2000–.

                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      This is a forum for scholarly articles drawn from many disciplines and helping professions. It serves as a clearinghouse for culturally competent strategies in individual, group, and family treatment of alcohol, tobacco, and other forms of drug abuse.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      • Mauer, Marc, and the Sentencing Project. 2006. Race to incarcerate. New York: New Press.

                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        Analysis of how tensions in communities make a backdrop to extreme levels of incarceration of African Americans in the United States. This book provides an appreciation of the vital role of social policy rather than criminal policy with regard to reform of the criminal and justice system, especially for African Americans.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Wilson, Sandra Jo, and Mark W. Lipsey. 2003. Are mainstream programs for juvenile delinquents less effective with minority youth than majority youth? A meta-analysis of outcomes research. Research on Social Work Practice 13.1: 3–26.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1177/1049731502238754Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          The analysis of over three hundred crime prevention studies demonstrates that mainstream programs of crime prevention originally developed for white youth also work for racial-minority youth populations. Programs that do not work for whites do not work for racial minorities either. Great piece of knowledge for social workers.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          Health

                                                                          Social work professionals are involved in two particular ways with patients and clients with health problems. First, some social workers work in preventive, curative, and palliative health-care settings and focus on patients’ social problems while in the health-care institution or in connection to discharge. Second, social workers many times work with clients who have social problems as a consequence of a primary health problem (for example, depression because of cancer). Race matters because health across racial groups varies in terms both of morbidity and mortality. However, the factors causing these differences remain contested. An introduction to racial inequalities in health is offered in Nazroo and Williams 2006. Jones 2000 provides a brief but to-the-point frame of reference for race-related health outcomes. For the purpose of this section, some of the Internet-based resources are most useful. These resources include the websites of the Office of Minority Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), the QualityNet Medicare Quality Improvement Community (MedQIC), the World Health Organization (WHO) International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services (HPH) Task Force on Migration, Equity & Diversity (TF MED), and Migrant-Friendly Hospitals. Furthermore the journal Ethnicity & Health is probably the best journal dedicated to this specific field. These resources will support researchers, students, and professionals with research results, practical recommendations, and references to further information.

                                                                          • Ethnicity & Health. 1996–.

                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            This international journal is designed to meet the worldwide interest in the health of ethnic groups. It embraces articles from a full range of disciplines dedicated to investigating the relationship between “ethnicity” and “health.” The journal also covers issues of culture, religion, gender, class, migration, lifestyle, and racism as they relate to health.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • Jones, Camara Phyllis. 2000. Levels of racism: A theoretic framework and a gardener’s tale. American Journal of Public Health 90.8: 1212–1215.

                                                                              DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.90.8.1212Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Presents a theoretical framework for understanding racism on three levels: institutionalized, personally mediated, and internalized. The framework is related to race-associated health outcomes. Available online.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • Migrant-Friendly Hospitals.

                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                This network is established within the framework of the World Health Organization (WHO) Task Force on Migrant-Friendly and Culturally Competent Healthcare. It provides research, tools, and training to improve health services to migrant populations in European countries.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                • National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  This resource helps one find basic clinical, social, and behavioral research on health disparities and tools to promote research infrastructure, training, and support for emerging programs. Furthermore the NCMHD disseminates information and reaches out to minority and other health disparity communities.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Nazroo, James Y., and David R. Williams. 2006. The social determination of ethnic/racial inequalities in health. In Social determinants of health. Edited by Michael Marmot and Richard G. Wilkinson, 238–266. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Excellent introduction to the international discourse on parameters of health disparities associated with ethnoracial factors.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Office of Minority Health, US Department of Health and Human Services.

                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      This agency provides diverse services, such as capacity-building assistance, conferences, a knowledge center with twenty-five thousand documents, resource persons, and regional offices in various locations in the United States. The capacity-building division provides an array of technical assistance in the form of short-range, acute care to agencies and organizations.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • QualityNet Medicare Quality Improvement Community.

                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        MedQIC provides useful tools for quality improvement for work with African Americans and other racial and ethnic groups. MedQIC also provides tools and links to support health-care providers in improving service quality for more effective and satisfactory outcomes for minority populations.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Task Force on Migration, Equity & Diversity. International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services, World Health Organization.

                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          TF MED was established in December 2016 to continue the work of the Task Force on Migrant-Friendly and Culturally Competent Healthcare. This site of the task force provides information and services for policy and service development, professional training, intercultural communication, patient and community empowerment, transcultural psychiatry, and research and evaluation. Very useful.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          Mental Health

                                                                                          Although the incidence and prevalence of mental illnesses across races are in general minimal, service utilization across races varies substantially. Racial minorities tend to underutilize services available to them. Some strong resources support this field. A great place to start is the report titled Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2001). Padgett 1995 and US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 1999 (Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General) are excellent texts that serve most needs in this field. In addition, the field has several specialized journals, including Culture & Psychology; Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology; Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry; and Transcultural Psychiatry. These resources help researchers, students, and professionals learn about barriers resulting in service underutilization and social work practices that would improve the accessibility of services and the quality of service delivery.

                                                                                          • Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology. 1995–.

                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            This journal features original research, theoretical and conceptual articles, and case studies that promote the development of knowledge and understanding, application of psychological principles, and scholarly analysis of social-political forces affecting racial and ethnic minorities.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry. 1977–.

                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              This is an international and interdisciplinary journal for the publication of work in the fields of medical and psychiatric anthropology, cross-cultural psychiatry, and associated cross-societal and clinical epidemiological studies. The journal offers original research and theoretical papers based on original research across the full range of these fields.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Culture & Psychology. 1995–.

                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                This is an interdisciplinary journal that addresses the centrality of culture to our understanding of human behavior, identity, intersubjective experiences, emotions, development, and language.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                • Padgett, Deborah K., ed. 1995. Handbook on ethnicity, aging, and mental health. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  A book on mental health problems among aging racial groups in United States. A broad array of mental disorders among African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, and Latino and Latina Americans are presented in racial-group-specific chapters.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • Transcultural Psychiatry.

                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Provides a channel of communication for psychiatrists, other mental health professionals, and social scientists concerned with the social and cultural determinants of psychopathology and psychosocial treatments of mental and behavioral problems in individuals, families, and communities.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 1999. Mental health: A report of the surgeon general. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      This report establishes that cultural differences count in health and mental health promotion.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2001. Mental health: Culture, race, and ethnicity. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        This site provides useful information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The information included in this site is highly pertinent to health, mental health, and social problems related to health and ethnicity.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        Substance Abuse

                                                                                                        Researchers, students, and professionals will find the two publications in this section by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) useful for tracking the basics of the most-important issues involving racial groups and substance abuse: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment (National Institute on Drug Abuse 2012) and Drug Use among Racial/Ethnic Minorities (National Institute on Drug Abuse 2003). Social workers often work with individuals and families who are dependent on, misuse, or abuse alcohol and other substances, such as hallucinogens, prescription drugs, and inhalants. Substance abuse rates vary with race as well as with other factors, such as age, gender, poverty, and risk exposure. Most racial groups have more or less similar substance abuse rates except for Native Americans and middle-aged and older African Americans, who have a high prevalence, and Asians, who have a low prevalence. For social workers who work with high-risk groups, it is important to understand the historical and social backdrops to a high degree of substance abuse.

                                                                                                        • National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2003. Drug use among racial/ethnic minorities. Rev. ed. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services.

                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          This is an excellent report describing the nature and the extent of illegal drug use, abuse, and addiction among the ethnoracial groups in the United States. The report covers all important aspects of this growing problem among racial groups. Print copies can be ordered online.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          • National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2012. Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide. 3d ed. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services.

                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            This publication is an excellent resource for health-care providers who get involved with the complex problems of clients who are in need of treatment for their drug abuse and addiction. Especially useful for professionals is the section on evidence-based treatments. Print copies can be ordered online.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            Prevention against Racism Internationally

                                                                                                            Historically the social work profession has taken a strong stand against racism. It has done so partly because of its commitment to and legacy in promoting social justice (for example, through the actions of its pioneers, such as Jane Addams) and partly as a derivative of global efforts to combat racism and social injustice. This section provides a selection of international charters from which the social work profession and its organizations get inspiration and support in shaping professional ethics associated with the rights and needs of clients from ethnoracial groups. Researchers, students, and professionals who are interested in the human rights issues of ethnoracial clients may use these resources to understand the international backdrop of professional stands.

                                                                                                            Global Charters

                                                                                                            During the post–World War II period, the UN and its various branches and other international, regional, and national organizations, partly as a response to the wrongdoings before and during World War II, championed a series of charters to combat and eradicate racism and social boundaries constructed on the basis of cultural differences. The selections in this section, UN General Assembly 1965 and African States Members of the Organization of African Unity 1981, are two charters that boldly address issues related to racism.

                                                                                                            • African States Members of the Organization of African Unity. 1981. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              This charter was developed and ratified by African states with special consideration of human rights issues in light of Africa’s history. It obliges ratifying states to recognize and guarantee the rights of individuals and groups of individuals without distinction of any kind, such as race, ethnic group, and color. Available online.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • UN General Assembly. 1965. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. G. A. Res. 2106 (XX).

                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                This convention builds on previous charters on human rights and obliges the underwriting states to condemn racial discrimination on the basis of race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin. States are also asked to actively combat any forms of racial discrimination. This is the overarching and currently determinative charter in this area. Available online.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                Social Work Organizations against Racism

                                                                                                                Most international and national organizations of social workers and social work schools have standards to educate their members in identifying and combating racism and discrimination. Professional organizations in many countries around the world issue standards for antidiscriminatory social work practice. The sources in this section may help researchers, students, and professionals appreciate ethical standards developed and enhanced by professional organizations. In 1994 a task group from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights prepared Human Rights and Social Work: A Manual for Schools of Social Work and the Social Work Profession (Centre for Human Rights 1994) (also available in Russian). The International Federation of Social Workers frames its antiracist policies and practices within the broad perspective of social justice (International Federation of Social Workers and International Association of Schools of Social Work 2004). Like many other associations around the world, the National Association of Social Workers in the United States sets high standards in the area of cultural diversity.

                                                                                                                • Centre for Human Rights. 1994. Human Rights and Social Work: A Manual for Schools of Social Work and the Social Work Profession. New York and Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations.

                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  This manual provides social work faculty, social workers, and social work students with an understanding of human rights issues and concerns for social justice. Its comprehensive agenda is a useful instrument for training purposes.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  • International Federation of Social Workers and International Association of Schools of Social Work. 2004. Ethics in social work, statement of principles.

                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    The federation’s statement reads: “Social workers have a responsibility to challenge negative discrimination on the basis of characteristics such as ability, age, culture, gender or sex, marital status, socio-economic status, political opinions, skin color, racial or other physical characteristics, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs.” Available online.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • National Association of Social Workers. 1996. Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers.

                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      The code of ethics of this professional organization in the United States underlines the importance of covering the nature of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion, and mental or physical disability in social work education.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      • UN Human Rights Council.

                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        International and national organizations of the social work profession have over the years taken actions to combat racism in social work practice. On the international stage the work started with a group of social work leaders commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council and under the auspices of the International Federation of Social Workers.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        back to top

                                                                                                                        Article

                                                                                                                        Up

                                                                                                                        Down