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Forging a Research Program on the Health of the Black Middle Class

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Air date: Thursday, May 15, 2014, 10:00:00 AM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Views: Total views: 185, (1 Live, 184 On-demand)
Category: Health Disparities
Runtime: 01:21:20
Description: NIH Health Disparities Seminar Series

The black middle class is viewed as an example of racial progress. Yet, the health outcomes of middle-class blacks fall dismally behind those of middle-class whites. In this regard, the health outcomes among middle-class blacks stall this alleged progress because middle-class status does not seem to provide the same health benefits to blacks as it does to whites. Without a better understanding of racial differences among the middle class, we cannot devise effective policy solutions to combat health disparities among the most underserved of our population. In their presentations, Dr. Kris Marsh and Dr. Rashawn Ray will provide an overview of a research agenda centered on psychological distress, physical activity, and aging among the black middle class. Using U.S. census and national data, as well as a unique data set on middle-class blacks and whites, they will document how health disparities among the middle class are very much centered on the experiences of black women. They will focus on how the stigma of being single affects the mental health and wealth decisions of middle-class black women as they age and show how the structure of neighborhoods and the social construction of bodies are privileged to support other raced and gendered groups leading to lower levels of physical activity and higher levels of obesity among middle-class black women. Drawing upon the intersectionality framework, they will discuss how the interactive effect of race and gender can be costly for middle-class black women.

Dr. Marsh is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and affiliate faculty of the Maryland Population Research Center, Department of Women's Studies, and African American Studies Department. Previously, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Marsh has combined her interests of the black middle class, demography, racial residential segregation, and education to develop a research agenda. This agenda is divided into three broad areas: the black middle class, the intersection of educational attainment and racial identification, and intra-racial health disparities. The common theme in her work is decomposing what it means to be black in America by focusing on intra-group variability in class, space, identity and educational achievement. Dr. Marsh has published work on the demographic shift in the black middle class with the emergence of single and living alone (SALA) households and the residential segregation patterns and trends of black and white SALA households. She received a doctoral degree from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Ray is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley/University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ray’s research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality. His work also speaks to ways that inequality may be attenuated through racial uplift activism and social policy. Dr. Ray is the editor of Race and Ethnic Relations in the Twenty-first Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy. His work has appeared in Ethnic and Racial Studies, American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Higher Education, and Journal of African American Studies. He received a doctoral degree in sociology from Indiana University.
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NLM Title: Forging a research program on the health of the black middle class / Kris Marsh, Rashawn Ray.
Series: NIH health disparities seminar
Author: Marsh, Kris.
Ray, Rashawn.
National Institutes of Health (U.S.),
Publisher:
Other Title(s): NIH health disparities seminar
Abstract: (CIT): The black middle class is viewed as an example of racial progress. Yet, the health outcomes of middle-class blacks fall dismally behind those of middle-class whites. In this regard, the health outcomes among middle-class blacks stall this alleged progress because middle-class status does not seem to provide the same health benefits to blacks as it does to whites. Without a better understanding of racial differences among the middle class, we cannot devise effective policy solutions to combat health disparities among the most underserved of our population. In their presentations, Dr. Kris Marsh and Dr. Rashawn Ray will provide an overview of a research agenda centered on psychological distress, physical activity, and aging among the black middle class. Using U.S. census and national data, as well as a unique data set on middle-class blacks and whites, they will document how health disparities among the middle class are very much centered on the experiences of black women. They will focus on how the stigma of being single affects the mental health and wealth decisions of middle-class black women as they age and show how the structure of neighborhoods and the social construction of bodies are privileged to support other raced and gendered groups leading to lower levels of physical activity and higher levels of obesity among middle-class black women. Drawing upon the intersectionality framework, they will discuss how the interactive effect of race and gender can be costly for middle-class black women. Dr. Marsh is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and affiliate faculty of the Maryland Population Research Center, Department of Women's Studies, and African American Studies Department. Previously, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Marsh has combined her interests of the black middle class, demography, racial residential segregation, and education to develop a research agenda. This agenda is divided into three broad areas: the black middle class, the intersection of educational attainment and racial identification, and intra-racial health disparities. The common theme in her work is decomposing what it means to be black in America by focusing on intra-group variability in class, space, identity and educational achievement. Dr. Marsh has published work on the demographic shift in the black middle class with the emergence of single and living alone (SALA) households and the residential segregation patterns and trends of black and white SALA households. She received a doctoral degree from the University of Southern California. Dr. Ray is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley/University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ray"s research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality. His work also speaks to ways that inequality may be attenuated through racial uplift activism and social policy. Dr. Ray is the editor of Race and Ethnic Relations in the Twenty-first Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy. His work has appeared in Ethnic and Racial Studies, American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Higher Education, and Journal of African American Studies. He received a doctoral degree in sociology from Indiana University.
Subjects: African Americans
Health Status Disparities
Single Person
Social Class
United States
Women
Publication Types: Lectures
Webcasts
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NLM Classification: WA 300 AA1
NLM ID: 101635888
CIT Live ID: 14175
Permanent link: https://videocast.nih.gov/launch.asp?18512