Ethnicity and Health: Key Themes in a Developing Field
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Ethnicity is a social division that is increasingly difficult to ignore. Ethnicity has to be considered alongside other social divisions including socioeconomic status which is crucial to explaining minority disadvantages in health. Identity is a key dimension of ethnicity, which encompasses self-ascribed and externally-imposed elements. The stigma associated with particular conditions, combined with the effects of racism and economic marginalization, can be central to some minority groups' ability to discuss disease and seek treatment. In a world where human rights are taken seriously, minority ethnic groups' presence in research has to become a routine consideration, rather than an optional extra. In research, as in service provision, planning for linguistic and cultural diversity represents additional work and will require extra resources.