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Operationalising the collection of ethnicity data in studies of the sociology of health and illness

By Peter J. Aspinall

Abstract

In response to the burgeoning interest in ethnic health issues and related published research, a number of\ud recent contributors have attempted to clarify or systematize the usage of overarching terminology like\ud 'ethnicity', 'race', 'culture', and 'racism', including the development of guidelines. However, the operational\ud problems of how to collect ethnicity data in studies of the sociology of health and illness have not been\ud satisfactorily addressed. This paper explores conceptual issues, notably, the meanings of ethnic identity\ud and ethnic origin/ancestry; methodological approaches, including which dimensions to collect,\ud multidimensional versus global measures, and exclusive groups versus optional ethnicity; and also practical\ud issues such as method of assignment. The approach calls for a stronger development of the theoretical\ud understandings of ethnicity and work on how best ethnicity should be conceptualised and measured in the\ud different approaches to explaining ethnic inequalities in health

Topics: HN
Publisher: Blackwell Publ ltd
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:kar.kent.ac.uk:666

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