Language matters: the vocabulary of racism in health care

Aspinall, Peter J. (2005) Language matters: the vocabulary of racism in health care. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 10 (1). pp. 57-59. ISSN 1355-8196. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Race equality as a matter of governance has gained momentum in most Western countries and is reflected in race/ethnicity data collection in administrative systems and the attention accorded to terminology by census agencies. However, the vocabulary of health care – both in its literature and the language of officialdom – has proved resistant to the use of this lexicon of acceptable terms, as exemplified by the portrayal of peoples as 'Oriental' and 'Negro'. What makes such language racist is the historical legacy it carries – that is, its symbolic importance. Survey evidence shows that the majority of those so described find the terms offensive. Countries have dealt with these linguistic issues in a variety of ways, including the use of the legislature and action by library associations and professional bodies in the USA. In Britain it has fallen upon the judiciary and universities to prohibit such terms. Given the momentum currently being achieved by public authorities in their response to race equality legislation, it is now time for health care to purge its language of these epithets

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Helen Wooldridge
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2008 16:35
Last Modified: 08 May 2014 07:59
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