Reviews

Researching ‘race’ and ethnicity

This book emerges at a critical time in developing research to aid understanding of the health needs of minority ethnic groups. The development of key initiatives in the health of minority ethnic groups is hampered by the lack of information about the ways in which issues of ‘race’, ethnicity and experiences impact on individuals and communities. Researchers working in nursing and health care have begun to research ethnicity and ‘race’ within a more politicised context which seeks to expose the impact of inequality within a ‘race’ and ethnicities based framework.

Much of the research around race and health in the past has failed to recognise the need to include this perspective in nursing research. This has not been helped by the lack of easily accessible texts exploring pertinent theoretical issues for conducting research on race and ethnicity. This book seeks to redress the balance in the current situation. The author works to bring the reader up to date with pertinent issues relating to race- and ethnicities-based research, and provides an overview of theoretical approaches that researchers can use to underpin their research.

The author uses examples from sociology, politics and gendered research to explore the traditional and contemporary issues facing researcher in race and ethnicity. She introduces the reader to some of the reasons conducting research in race and ethnicity has been problematic in the past and addresses some of the key arguments of the present.

A criticism of the

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Much of the research around race and health in the past has failed to recognise the need to include this perspective in nursing research. This has not been helped by the lack of easily accessible texts exploring pertinent theoretical issues for conducting research on race and ethnicity. This book seeks to redress the balance in the current situation. The author works to bring the reader up to date with pertinent issues relating to race- and ethnicities-based research, and provides an overview of theoretical approaches that researchers can use to underpin their research.

The author uses examples from sociology, politics and gendered research to explore the traditional and contemporary issues facing researcher in race and ethnicity. She introduces the reader to some of the reasons conducting research in race and ethnicity has been problematic in the past and addresses some of the key arguments of the present.

A criticism of the book could be that it might provide few new insights for those experienced in this area of research work. However, the user-friendly style of the book and the simple explanations of theoretical language will assist new researchers and health educators alike in explaining and discussing issues with learners and in their own work.

The book will appeal to multi-disciplinary health teams, researchers and social care professionals seeking to incorporate contextualised ‘race ‘ awareness into their studies. To this end, the issues raised cover a range of research issues, theories and approaches by drawing on the work of established and experienced researchers in the field.

Overall I feel that this book is a good basis from which the theoretical and methodological importance of ‘race’ and ethnicity in research can be explored in the health context. The references are detailed and contain a mixture of contemporary and classical sources from race, ethnicity and sociology.

The particular value of this book to readers lies in the discussion of ‘race’, ethnicity and research issues within a political and social context. The author states her intention to explore some of the theoretical and practical dilemmas of researching ‘race’ and ethnicity. This is, without question, achieved. I recommend it as essential reading for those concerned with increasing their awareness of issues relating to race, ethnicity and research practice.

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