Structural Racism and Health Stratification in the U.S.: Connecting Theory to Measurement



Tyson Brown, Associate Professor of Sociology, Duke University

Despite the centrality of structural explanations for understanding racialized inequality, less than one percent of studies on the link between race and health have focused on structural racism. Moreover, there has often been a disconnect between the conceptualization of structural racism in the race theory literature and the measurement strategies used in population health research. This study advances the field by 1) synthesizing literatures on macro-level structural racism and population health to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the links between them, 2) measuring macro-level structural racism in U.S. states across multiple domains, including political participation, education, economics, housing, and the judicial system, and 3) quantifying the effects of structural racism on multiple health outcomes among middle-aged and older Blacks and whites.  

Tyson H. Brown is an Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Center on Health & Society at Duke University. His program of research examines the who, when, and how questions regarding ethnoracial inequalities in health and wealth. Brown is currently working on several projects that investigate macro-level factors and psychosocial mechanisms that underlie social inequalities in health. He has authored numerous articles in leading sociology and population health journals, and his research contributions have been recognized with awards from the American Sociological Association. Brown was also the recipient of Duke University's Thomas Langford Award and was a resident fellow at Oxford University. In addition, he has been awarded funding for his training and research from the Robert Wood Johnson and Ford Foundations as well as the National Institutes of Health.

Event Link