In this paper we report on an interdisciplinary project interviewing doctors and nurses about racial inequality in health care in the USA. We analysed data from interviews with twenty-two white doctors and nurses in which they were asked to offer explanations for racial inequality in health care. Results provide insight into how whiteness operates to provide white patients more often with appropriate health care and how colour-blind ideology can be adapted to accommodate naming white advantage and potential racial discrimination. However, even when naming mechanisms of white advantage in accessing resources, the white respondents avoided acknowledging how they are implicated in racial inequality in health care. We discuss the implications for understanding whiteness and colour-blind ideology.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a small project grant from the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research and a grant from the Taft Research Center at the University of Cincinnati. We thank Anna Linders, David Purcell and Rhys Williams for helpful suggestions on the paper.
- Racial discourse
- Racial inequality
- White racial ideology