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Position Pieces

Vol 8 No 1: April issue

Race, Racism and Anthropology: Decolonising Health Inequality in a Time of Covid-19

DOI
https://doi.org/10.17157/mat.8.1.5112
Submitted
July 28, 2020
Published
April 23, 2021

Abstract

In the United Kingdom, the government’s failure to consistently record the race and ethnicity of those who have died from COVID-19 and the disproportionate mortality impact of the virus on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities speaks to a systemic failure to account for the interplay between the social construction of race and the lived experience of racism, itself presented biologically as ‘poor health’. This failure has run for far longer and far deeper than many would care to admit. In this article, I use my own positionality as a ‘Mixed-Race Black’ woman to argue that the unique place of medical anthropology to sit at the intersection of the social, political, biological, and ecological means it can provide alternative approaches to understanding the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic and lay some foundations for repair strategies that encompass the patterns, processes, and constructs of health inequality.