Racism against Totonaco women in Veracruz: Intercultural competences for health professionals are necessary

Autoři: Niels Michael Dörr aff001;  Gunther Dietz aff001
Působiště autorů: Instituto de Investigaciones en Educación, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico aff001;  Institute of History of Medicine of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Giessen, Germany aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227149


Racism is a neglected but relevant cause of health disparities within multi-ethnic societies. Different types of racism and other expressions of discrimination must be recognized, critically analyzed, and actively reverted. This paper is based on anthropological fieldwork conducted in three medical facilities in the indigenous region Sierra de Totonacapan in the highlands of Veracruz in Mexico and analyzes maternal health and identifies levels of racism as perceived by female indigenous patients. Applying a theoretical framework that defines racism at three levels, namely, institutionalized, personally mediated, and internalized racism. We empirically distinguish and acknowledge human rights omissions and violations and then analyze the sources of racism in close relation to an intersectional view on gender-, class-, and race-based forms of discrimination. Finally, in addition to investment in health goods and skilled birth attendants, we propose an intercultural competence approach to manage racism, among other ideologies. This approach targets health professionals as conscious, reflexive, and transformative actors of intercultural interactions with culturally diverse patients.

Klíčová slova:

Culture – Language – Mexico – Pregnancy – Racial discrimination – Social discrimination – Socioeconomic aspects of health – Indigenous populations


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