Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Privilege Discussion

Last week, our group discussed the effects of privilege in society and how to better foster discussion about the disparities resulting when one person or group is more privileged than another. A circular diagram, displayed during the meeting, presented different kinds of privilege and emphasized how being privileged can have many different meanings. For example, a Brown University student has educational privilege but not necessarily monetary privilege. We then discussed what are the challenges when trying to talk to others about privilege. Some members stated being able to talk openly about socio-economic differences depends on whom you are discussing the issues with. My intro to public health class is also looking at the difference privilege has in accessing adequate health care. Our guest speaker this week, Dr. Buka, discussed the effects that race has on infant and maternal health in the US. In the past, researchers questioned whether black women were genetically more likely have infants with lower mortality rates than white women. However, further research concluded, that genetics has nothing to do with it. Instead, racial and economic disparities are the leading causes of infant and maternal health risks. The findings caused researchers and public health officials to put more emphasis on providing adequate health care to minority mothers. I think that when looking at global health issues, although sometimes uncomfortable, the discussion involving privilege is necessary to promote change. It was great to be in the GlobeMed meeting where everyone was willing to discuss the issues and possible solutions to the disparities caused by privilege.


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