Genetics: No evidence of role in racial mortality gap

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2015-03-20 00:48Z by Steven

Genetics: No evidence of role in racial mortality gap

Science Daily: Your source for the latest research news
2015-03-16

There is still no evidence of genetic difference between blacks and whites to account for the health disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a new study by McGill University researchers. Published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the researchers suggest that after a decade of genetic studies, factors such as lifestyle, education and socio-economics — not genetics — are more promising avenues to understanding racial health disparities.

The researchers focused on cardiovascular disease, the largest contributor to the racial mortality gap, and conducted a systematic review for articles published over a seven year period in which genetic data from African and European populations were available. The team found no explanation for racial disease disparities amongst any of the hundreds of genetic variants reported.

“After nearly a decade of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), no assessment had yet been made of their contribution toward an explanation of the most prominent racial health disparities observed at the population level,” says Jay Kaufman, of the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Occupational Health in the Faculty of Medicine…

Read the entire article here.

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The Black Peril and Miscegenation: The Regulation of Inter-racial Sexual Relations in Southern Rhodesia, 1890-1933

Posted in Africa, Canada, Dissertations, History, Law on 2012-05-26 15:33Z by Steven

The Black Peril and Miscegenation: The Regulation of Inter-racial Sexual Relations in Southern Rhodesia, 1890-1933

McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
September 1991
140 Pages

Katherine Gombay

A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree  of M.A.

For over forty years, at the turn of this century, the white settlers of Southern Rhodesia devoted considerable energy to the discussion and the regulation of inter-racial sexual relations. The settlers’ worries about maintaining their position in power were expressed, in part, in the periodic outbreaks of ‘black peril’ hysteria, a term which well-captures white fears about the threat that African men were thought to represent to white women. Although voluntary sexual encounters between white women and black men were prohibited from 1903 onwards, no such prohibition existed for white men in their relations with black women. The white women made several attempts to have legislation passed prohibiting such liasons, and failed largely because in doing so they were perceived to be challenging the authority of the white men. The regulation of interracial sexual intercourse thus served to reinforce the white male domination of Rhodesian society.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1—Setting the Scene: The White Settlement of Southern Rhodesia, 1890-1903.
  • Chapter 2—1903-1916: The Black Peril and the Immorality Acts.
  • Chapter 3—The Miscegenation Debates, 1916 -1930.
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography

Read the entire thesis here.

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Cultural identities of people of “mixed” backgrounds: racial, ethnic and national meanings in negotiation

Posted in Canada, Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2011-11-30 01:47Z by Steven

Cultural identities of people of “mixed” backgrounds: racial, ethnic and national meanings in negotiation

McGill University, Montreal
2005

Sahira Iqbal

A thesis submitted to McGill University in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree ofMasters of Arts in Culture and Values in Education.

This qualitative study aims to describe and understand the cultural identities of people of “mixed” backgrounds whose mother comes from one racial, ethnic or national background and whose father comes from another background. In-depth, individual interviews were conducted with nine people of “mixed” backgrounds in order to understand the meanings that particular racial, ethnic or national labels have for them and how those meanings are constructed. My analysis is shaped by the works of Hall (1996, 2003), Taylor (1989, 1992) and Bourdieu (1986, 1990) among others. The participants claimed multiple labels in ambivalent ways. They spoke about what they know or do not know about the culture, connections to people and places, languages and customs, physical features and values. They take on various positionings depending on the discourses that are available and the meanings that they negotiate in their daily encounters. I conclude with the implications the findings may have for policymakers, identity politics and educators and with future research directions.

Read the entire thesis here.

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Le mĂ©tissage dans l’Ĺ“uvre indochinoise de Marguerite Duras

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Canada, Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Philosophy, Women on 2011-11-30 01:38Z by Steven

Le mĂ©tissage dans l’Ĺ“uvre indochinoise de Marguerite Duras

McGill University, Montreal
2006
106 pages

Elisabeth Desaulniers

MĂ©moire soumis Ă  l’UniversitĂ© McGill en vue de l’obtention du grade de MaĂ®tre ès arts (MA) en langue et littĂ©rature françaises

This dissertation focuses on the issue of hybridity in Marguerite Duras’ corpus of Indochinese texts, as well as on the meeting of identities in the colonial realm. In order to identify the problematics of colonial coexistence, we will address the themes of the encounter between the Orient and the Occident, the use of hybrid discourse and the role of memory in the process of rewriting. Edward Said’s Orientalism theory as well as Homi Bhabha’s concept of ambivalence in colonial discourse will serve as the basis for the analysis of the Indochinese cycle. Far from being a totalizing experience, hybridity will reveal itself as being a harrowing dichotomy.

Read the entire thesis (in French) here.

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Mothering Multiracial Children: Indicators of Effective Interracial Parenting

Posted in Canada, Dissertations, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Work on 2011-07-12 19:44Z by Steven

Mothering Multiracial Children: Indicators of Effective Interracial Parenting

McGill University
1997
123 pages

Nicolette De Smit

A Thesis Submitted to The School of Social Work Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for The Master’s Degree in Social Work

The goal of this descriptive/exploratory study was to examine the behavior and attitudes of eleven white and five non-white mothers involved in raising multiracial, preschool-aged, biological children. A theoretical framework based on research carried out with multiracial individuals was used to define interracial parenting strategies that promoted strong racial and personal identities in their children. Through individual interviews, using a questionnaire, an opinion survey, and four vignettes that described racially complex situations, two areas of parenting were examined: contact maintained by mothers with the child’s minority background, and the mothers capacity to effectively problem-solve.
 
Little difference was found between the responses of white and non-white mothers. However, among white mothers, the younger, less educated mothers had considerably more contact with the minority culture than did the older, highly educated mothers. The latter, however, performed significantly better than their younger counterparts in providing responses that displayed more of the attitudes and parenting strategies recommended in previous research.

Read the entire thesis here.

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Hybridity in Cooper, Mitchell and Randall: Erasures, Rewritings, and American Historical Mythology

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Slavery on 2010-12-18 04:05Z by Steven

Hybridity in Cooper, Mitchell and Randall: Erasures, Rewritings, and American Historical Mythology

McGill University, Montreal
Department of English
August, 2004
86 pages

Marie Thormodsgard

Submitted in partial fulfillment for a Masters degree in English

This thesis starts with an overview of the historical record tied to the birth of a new nation studied by Alexis de Tocqueville and Henry Steele Commager. It singles out the works of Henry Nash Smith and Eugene D. Genovese for an understanding, respectively, of the “myth of the frontier” tied to the conquest of the American West and the “plantation myth” that sustained slavery in the American South. Both myths underlie the concept of hybridity or cross-cultural relations in America. This thesis is concerned with the representation or lack of representation of hybridity and the roles played by female characters in connection with the land in two seminal American novels and their film versions—James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans, and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind—and Alice Randall’s rewriting of Mitchell’s novel, The Wind Done Gone, as a point of contrast. Hybridity is represented in the mixed-race bodies of these characters. Mitchell’s novel, and its film version in particular, create images which, according to bell hooks, “in the space of popular media culture black people in the U.S. and black people globally often look at [them]selves through images, through eyes that are unable to truly recognize [them], so that [they] are not represented as [them]selves but seen through the lens of the oppressor” (Yearning 155). I analyze how this “lens” has created a selective American cultural memory that leaves out the syncretism that is part of the American historical record and privileges the fostering of notions ofracial “purity.” My overall argument links the recurrent patterns of destruction visited on the hybrid bodies of mixed-race females with the destruction of the environment. This thesis demonstrates how literary and cinematic representations in American popular culture siphon lived history into cultural memory through the use and misuse of the hybrid female body.

The first chapter addresses James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans; concentrating on the characterization of Cora, who in the text is of mixed Caribbean ancestry, and is sacrificed for the “pure” American ideal to develop. The 1992 film version, however, erases Cora’s mixed-ethnicity and sacrifice while she still stands for the figure of the frontier heroine. The second chapter focuses on Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind and the 1939 film version. While Mitchell does not directly confront the issue of racial mixing, the Reconstruction half of the text portrays the Klu Klux Klan as resulting from a fear of white women and former slaves reproducing and therefore is representative of the South’s mythology and identity politics. The film erases Mitchell’s single hybrid character, Dylcie, and all references to hybridization and the KKK. The third chapter concentrates on Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone, which deconstructs the racial markers of polarized pigmentations in the original text. Essentially, Randall’s novel brings out what was left out of both Mitchell’s novel and its film version: the distorted notion of racial “purity” among slaves and slaveowners.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans
  • Chapter Two: Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind
  • Chapter Three: Randall’s The Wind Done Gone
  • Conclusion
  • Works Cited

Read the entire thesis here.

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