Aboriginal identity and knowledge within Canada’s social gradient in health
Authors: Cash Rowe
Social scientists and health researchers have shown that there are deep and continuing disparities in health between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals. Research in this area has traditionally focused on western science’s medical and genetic health determinants. This study tries a new approach by incorporating indigenous knowledge and culture within social gradient in health research. From the consilience process an ethnosocial determinant of health framework was developed. The framework contains two new social cohesion measurements. The contextual-level measures were ethnic income stratification and ethnic group social capital. The other variable of interest was ethnic-connectedness, as measured by ethnic origin (cultural identity). To assess the significance of these variables for predicting self-perceived health status, the 2000-2001 Canadian Community Health Survey was utilized. The findings indicate that ethnic income stratification and ethnic group social capital had a significant contextual-level effect on self-perceived health. Further the findings indicate that ethnic-connectedness, as measured by cultural identity, reduces the likelihood for morbidity for Visible Minorities and urban Aboriginal Canadians.
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