the cedar ledge

Structural Intersectionality as a New Direction for Health Disparities Research

Date: November 4 2022

Summary: An introduction to intersectionality theory and medical sociological ideas at play within health disparities research

Keywords: ##bibiliography #intersectionality #sociology #medical #equity #disparity #research #archive


P. Homan, T. H. Brown, and B. King, "Structural Intersectionality as a New Direction for Health Disparities Research," J Health Soc Behav, vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 350–370, Sep. 2021, doi: 10.1177/00221465211032947.

Table of Contents

    1. Reading Motivation
    2. What Is Intersectionality?
    3. Why Are Intersectional Approaches Needed?
    4. How Is Health Impacted by Intersectionality?
    5. How Can Intersectionality Help Address Health Inequity?
  1. How To Cite
  2. References:
  3. Discussion:

Reading Motivation

I was suggested this paper by Sarah Gasman of Boston Medical Center. She suggested it as has it holds great relevance to some of my research on health disparities. I must say, this paper was revelatory and plan a future discussion with the study authors due to how incredible it was to my mind.

What Is Intersectionality?

What Is Intersectionality and Intersectionality Theory? - An overview and summary on what is intersectionality and intersectionality theory as an area of health and health disparities research.

Why Are Intersectional Approaches Needed?

Prior literature has shown multiple examples where an understanding of intersectionality is useful in a health context: - Racism, sexism, and classism are interlocking, mutually constituted, and reinforcing (Collins 2000; Crenshaw 1991; Dill and Zambrana 2009) - Effects of racial, gender, and socioeconomic stratification are nonadditive (meaning that racial, gender, and socioeconomic aspects do not all equally contribute to problems in intersectionality [e.g. gender could have more impact than race considerations in certain situations]). It was observed that the greatest racial inequalities in health were found among women and furthermore seen among those women with higher levels of socioeconomic status (Brown et al. 2016; Cummings and Jackson 2008; Warner and Brown 2011).

How Is Health Impacted by Intersectionality?

Health is simultaneously shaped by an array of individual-level social positions (Brown et al. 2016; Hargrove 2018; Schulz and Mullings 2006). - Health disparities at the intersection of race and gender can be covered by unidimensional health research. They can overlook the unique experiences of women of color and the multiple forms of oppression that impact one's life (Bowleg 2012; King 1988; Weber 2010). - The relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and health is racialized. Education, income, and wealth seem to be less protective for the health of blacks compared to whites (Assari 2018; Boen, Keister, and Aronson 2020; Colen, Krueger, and Boettner 2018; Hudson et al. 2013). - Attributing perceived interpersonal discrimination to categories (e.g., race, gender, class, and others) is associated with worse health outcomes (Grollman 2012, 2014).

How Can Intersectionality Help Address Health Inequity?

  1. Intersectionality highlights social inequalities in many facets of society, across socially constructed groups, and how social inequalities are not caused by social statuses or identities per se but from systems of oppression (Cho, Crenshaw, and McCall 2013).

  2. Intersectionality demonstrates how social inequalities are shaped by a confluence of factors often obscured by unidimensional approaches (Dill and Zambrana 2009; McCall 2005).

  3. Intersectionality underscores utility of examining systems within and between social contexts (Choo and Ferree 2010)

  4. Intersectionality highlights the complex nature of the social world.

Intersectionality research itself is characterized by its complexity.

How To Cite

Zelko, Jacob. Structural Intersectionality as a New Direction for Health Disparities Research. November 4 2022.



CC BY-SA 4.0 Jacob Zelko. Last modified: November 24, 2023. Website built with Franklin.jl and the Julia programming language.