The Idea of Weathering

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Words like systemic violence and a social health determinant are specifically described in the concept of weatering. With regards to meteorological conditions, Warren-Findlow (222) notes that black women suffer from accumulated tension, cumulative variations in their health, thereby accelerating their aging process. In addition to poverty or lifestyle on an individual level, weathering also involves institutional inégalities and prejudice against gender and age, according to Warren-Findlow (222). Structural violence involves standardized methods of harming individuals through social institutions. Besides, structural violence explains the differences in health or any other social structure that are unfair and unacceptable by the community. Weathering framework admits that the response by black women to their condition can worsen their health. The social determinants of health encompass the social and economic conditions that influence the health of an individual. These conditions include personal health practice, income, wealth, physical environment, and culture. Therefore, the article on weathering by Warren-Findlow (223) explains that socioeconomic status influences health. Low socioeconomic status increases the rates of chronic diseases and mortality among black women (Warren-Findlow 223).

Characterizing Warren-Findlow Study
A theory provides an explanation of how or why a situation occurs. Besides, it offers tentative solutions to problems. Concerning theory, the study by Warren-Findlow uses weathering framework to explain the relationship between social and environmental stress and heart diseases among African American females. Therefore, as a theory, the study explains that black women suffer from heart disease due to stress. Reasons women develop stress because they might have lost parents in the early stage, raising the family alone and early outbreak of disability and severe illness (Warren-Findlow 234). Epistemology encompasses studying knowledge and justified belief. Regarding the study, the author indicates that the early outbreak of chronic illness in black women is as a result of social and economic stressors. The author uses knowledge from stories of older black women to analyze the relationship between stress and heart diseases.
As a method, the study by Warren-Findlow used an in-depth qualitative interview to get information from older black women regarding their lifelong and recent events of stress that might have contributed to heart diseases. Moreover, the interview entailed questions on black women demographic characteristics. The author generates new knowledge by illustrating that one needs to understand the complications in people lives to be able to overcome effectively the health imbalances experienced by the minority groups.
Positivist and Interpretivist Approaches
I think that Warren-Findlow study avoids this pitfall. The primary reason for the research by Warren-Findlow was to illustrate the explanatory models of women heart illness. According to Warren-Findlow (226), the analysis showed that women believed that stress was the primary cause of their heart disease. Positivist research tends to use of quantitative research methods and official statistical figures to uncover objective reality since they are reliable. Findings showed that the percentage of women living in deadly neighborhoods of Chicago was more than 80% (Warren-Findlow 235). As a positivist, the author explains the relationship between variables. For instance, stress among black women relates to heart disease. According to Orsi, Margellos-Anast & Whitman (353), socioeconomic factors and racism contribute to disparities in health.
With interpretivism, the author used in-depth interview since different individuals experience and understand objective reality in a different manner. Warren-Findlow focused on gaining insights into the lives of old black women. According to Warren-Findlow (235), the way black women portrayed resilience in coping with challenges was inspiring.
I agree with Warren-Findlow regarding the issue of women being overmedicated. Black women are on psychiatric medications than previously recorded. Moreover, black women tend to stay on medication far longer than was expected. According to Ertel, et al. (844), racial discrimination increases the risk of depressive symptoms. Therefore, black women prefer to use antidepressants to restrain their emotional lives.
There is a medicalization process in the US society. The availability of insurance companies, pharmaceutical, and biotechnical industries promotes medicalization. Moreover, patients as consumers perceive nonmedical problems such as aging, alcoholism, racism and birth as medical conditions. The minority group in the US have more health problems compared to whites (Hunt, Whitman & Hurlbert 119). I believe that we are medicalizing social problems. Social problems that US citizens face include drug abuse, crime, obesity, and abortion. Individuals perceive medicalization as a humanitarian reform because it is more kind compared to management by religious authorities.
Understanding the Complexity of People Lives
Researchers will understand the complexity of people lives by conducting well-designed ethnographic studies. With rigorous ethnographic studies, researchers should be well trained since they are the research instruments. Moreover, ethnography allows researchers to build rapport with participants thus enabling them to obtain rich and meaningful data. Warren-Findlow (227) stated that respondents volunteered and provided comments and explanations on their challenges. For researchers to understand health disparities, they need to develop health literacy so that they could obtain, process and understand fundamental information on health and services, and make appropriate decisions. Researchers need to use social, ecological model. With this model, researchers will understand factors influencing behaviors of individuals. They can use the model as guidance for developing successful programs since it will ease adoption of healthy behaviors. Orsi, Margellos-Anast & Whitman (353) argues that a city-wide disparity conference helped to gain the attention of the community and media thus eliminating disparities.
Racial Classifications
I see racial classifications as social constructs. I believe that the characteristics and classifications of a race are dynamic. Racial classification is self-defined. It matters a lot how a person identifies himself. Similarly, racial classification is externally inflicted. Sometimes, the racial identity of a person is inconsistent with what the outside world assigns him/her. For instance, one might be categorized as black in the US and considered colored in Zimbabwe.
Researchers interested in understanding health inequalities should not use racial classification since it will promote racialization. When viewing race in relation to biology, researchers can divert their study from the social cause of the disease to enhancing the status quo. Also, researchers will strengthen social norms regarding racial inferiority. Findings by Hunt, Whitman & Hurlbert (121) indicated that in many cities in the US, black women suffering from breast cancer experience disparities compared to white females.
Racism and Health
I think that health researchers should give us light on racism and health. Studying how racism influence health is an appropriate frame for researchers. The study will identify various ways that racism causes and sustains health disparities. The main cause of disparities in health is racial segregation. According to the study by Orsi, Margellos-Anast & Whitman (353) on health, racism contributes to racial disparities. Racial discrimination differs depending on the racial classification. On the same note, racial discrimination at the individual level contributes to stress, which in turn impact the health of a person. Coburn criticized Wilkinson view of income inequality by arguing that modern capitalism is the cause of inequality. Coburn proposed that individuals should not only concentrate on effects of income inequalities but should understand its causes. Therefore, researchers should diversify their objectives and try to understand causes of racism.
Works Cited
Ertel, Karen A., et al. “Racial discrimination, response to unfair treatment, and depressive symptoms among pregnant black and African American women in the United States.” Annals of epidemiology 22.12 (2012): 840-846.
Hunt, Bijou R., Steve Whitman, and Marc S. Hurlbert. “Increasing Black: White disparities in breast cancer mortality in the 50 largest cities in the United States.” Cancer epidemiology 38.2 (2014): 118-123.
Orsi, Jennifer M., Helen Margellos-Anast, and Steven Whitman. “Black white health disparities in the United States and Chicago: a 15-year progress analysis.” American journal of public health 100.2 (2010): 349-356.
Warren-Findlow, Jan. “Weathering: Stress and heart disease in African American women living in Chicago.” Qualitative Health Research 16.2 (2006): 221-237.

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