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Resources - Words and their Meaning

Chrissie DaCosta, Steven Dixon-Smith and Gurnam Singh.

This discussion paper seeks to do two things. First, it offers a critical commentary on the historical and contemporary politics of counting and categorisation, especially in the context of empire and development of the modern multicultural ethnic societies. And second, it examines the debate surrounding the efficacy of the BAME category and possible alternatives.


An article by Flanagin A, Frey T, Christiansen SL,  and Bauchner H, providing a series of recommendations, from an American perspective, about the terms that should be used in scientific journals when categorising according to race or ethnicity. 

Lancet Global Health.

Eileen Yam and her colleagues argue that the global health community has been slow to focus on race in its work, whilst fervently advocating for gender equity. They argue that meaningful engagement with critical race theory and recognising the intersectionality of race and gender will "help to achieve the mutually reinforcing goals of eradicating both racial and gender inequity."

European Journal of Public Health.

An article by Raj Bhopal, Laurence Gruer and colleagues, describing how the Global Society's name was arrived at, appears in the EJPH's first issue of 2021 with responses by Yudit Namer and Oliver Razum, and Michael Yudell. Together, they show how the word "race" continues to provoke debate and is understood differently in different countries, contexts and academic disciplines. However, its use is so widespread that it cannot be ignored or simply substituted by other words.

Public Health.

This article by Mark Johnson and colleagues provides definitions for over 80 words and phrases commonly used in the field, with the aim of "promoting shared understanding and stimulating constructive discussion".

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