How the whiteness embedded in health services impacts on the health and well-being of Aboriginal peoples

Fredericks, Bronwyn L. (2009) How the whiteness embedded in health services impacts on the health and well-being of Aboriginal peoples. In Riggs, Damien W. & Baird, Barbara (Eds.) The Racial Politics of Bodies, Nations and Knowledges. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 11-27.

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Aboriginal women are treated differently by non-indigenous health care providers based on perceptions of Aboriginality and skin colour and white race privilege within health care environments. The experiences shared below are from some of the Aboriginal woman respondents in a research project undertaken within Rockhampton, a regional area in Central Queensland (Fredericks, 2003). The experiences give an insight into how the Aboriginal women interviewed felt and their observations of how other Aboriginal women were treated within health care settings based on skin colour and perceptions of Aboriginality. A number of the women demonstrated a personal in-depth analysis of the issues surrounding place, skin colour and Aboriginality. For example, one of the women, who I named Kay, identified one particular health service organisation and stated that, ‘it is a totally white designed space. There is nothing that identifies me to that place. I just won’t go there as a client because I don’t feel they cater for me as a black woman’. Kay’s words give us an understanding of the reality experienced by Aboriginal women as they move in and out of places within health environments and broader society. Some of these experiences are examples of direct racism, whilst other examples are subtle and demonstrate how whiteness manifests and plays out within places. I offer acknowledgement and honour to the Aboriginal women who shared their stories and gave me a glimpse of their realities in the research project from which the findings presented in this chapter are taken. It is to this research project that is the subject of this chapter.

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ID Code: 27558
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Aboriginal , Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, Health Services , Access , Women's Health Services , Aboriginal Health Services, Whiteness, Women
ISBN: 9781443803267
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies (200201)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Research Centres > Indigenous Studies Research Network
Deposited On: 02 Nov 2009 01:35
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:58

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