The myth of meritocracy and African American health

Naa Oyo A. Kwate, Ilan H. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent theoretical and empirical studies of the social determinants of health inequities have shown that economic deprivation, multiple levels of racism, and neighborhood context limit African American health chances and that African Americans' poor health status is predicated on unequal opportunity to achieve the American Dream. President Obama's election has been touted as a demonstration of American meritocracy-the belief that all may obtain the American Dream-and has instilled hope in African Americans. However, we argue that in the context of racism and other barriers to success, meritocratic ideology may act as a negative health determinant for African Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1831-1834
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume100
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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