Monday, February 18, 2013

First Reader Response to Dressler

One aspect of the reading that I didn’t really understand was the part in Dressler reading about the lack of explicit definitions for race. I think the wording kind of confused me and the text didn’t quite provide an example. However, I read it a few times. I believe it means that many researches use race within their research without having a set definition. So for others, this causes a lack of validity in their research because we do not have that set definition. Sometimes, researches will categorize by race without actually looking at other factors that may be playing into their research as well. This also causes a serious problem with the research because a researcher is ignoring other factors like genetic or environmental factors.
I also had a question for you guys and that is: so if you could define race to be used in an ‘ethnobiological’ way, how would you go about that? Personally, I think you have to divide ‘race’ up into different factors such as cultural or environmental. 


  1. This is my Respondent assignment blog comment. I agree with you that the term race was very vague. I took it to mean skin color. Throughout the article I was wondering what they meant by African born women. Clearly it meant women born in Africa, but that's like comparing white Americans to Europeans. It's a very broad spectrum and many Americans, black and white, are many generations removed from their immigrant ancestors. It just seemed odd to me because it was so broad and just ignored all of the years of genetic intermixing that occurred since the move to the Americas. However, the term ethnography seems to deal with all of these issues.

    That being said, I don't think the definition of race was as important as the rest of the content of the article. It basically stated that most of the normal explanations such as lack of exercise and high salt content are either flimsy or have never actually been proven. I found the part about perceived racism and job stress fascinating because of the different ways they affected health. The high stress jobs especially because under the same high stress situations both white and black women had low birth weight babies but more so for the black women and more so in cases of feeling discriminated against.

    I thought the part later in the article about how race and ethnicity are part of who we are and is very set made a good point. While races share some genetic traits, maybe culture plays into it quite a bit. In my experience, minorities seem to live in pockets and the lifestyles in those communities and the social standings that they afford could have a large impact on the health of the individuals that reside there.

  2. [Respondent]
    I agree with Nivetha in the idea that much of scientific research does in fact only focus on one specific thing. In many cases, some only include data that supports their theory. Or as Nivetha said, they fail to include other factors and outliers.
    Science is the the idea that everything you find is relevant and all factors must be taken into account before a true conclusion can be made.