In the current Editor’s Pick article, author Deanna Bickford, MN, RN challenges nurses to take a leadership role in confronting inequitable access to health care. She believes that doing so is achievable to the extent that nurses draw on the diversity reflected in nursing’s fundamental patterns of knowing. In her article, “Postcolonial Theory, Nursing Knowledge, and the Development of Emancipatory Knowing” she addresses ways to uncover social injustice and disrupt the status quo in order to move closer to social justice in health care. She has provided this message about the origin of her work in this area, inviting us as readers to comments and reply to her ideas:
I began exploring issues of health inequities as a BScN student and was shocked to learn about the inequities that exist for the Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Most Canadians enjoy one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. Yet, there are certain groups that exist within Canada, which due to a broad range of social, economic, personal, and environmental factors that go
Deanna Bickford with her grandson!
beyond any individual choices they make, continue to experience health inequities. The Aboriginal peoples of Canada are one of these groups: they have a higher infant mortality rate, lower life expectancy at birth, higher rates of diseases of the circulatory system, digestive system, respiratory system, genital urinary system, nervous system, endocrine, nutritional and metabolic disease, infectious and parasitic diseases, dental and behavioral disorders, and neoplasms.
I have continued to follow this path of exploration throughout my studies and I am currently a PhD(c) at the University of Saskatchewan, College of Nursing. My research focuses on exploring health from the perspective of First Nations youth and seeks to understand First Nations ways of knowing and sharing knowledge for health. Guided by postcolonial theory this research aims to contribute to better understandings of the social, political, and colonial conditions that have lead to health inequities, to highlight the voices and strengths of those affected by these inequities, and ultimately contribute to the knowledge of the discipline. This article represents one part of my journey of discovery. Thank you for featuring this article and I look forward to the feedback.
Visit the ANS web site today to download your free copy of this article! I join Ms. Bickford in welcoming your comments and feedback!
The authors of our current featured article provide exemplars from a study exploring African American participation in research to demonstrate the use of a combined framework for analysis that examines the interactions of environment, culture, biology and history to understand the complex problems of health inequity. The article, titled “Uniting Postcolonial, Discourse, and Linguistic Theory to Explore Participation of African Americans in Cancer Research as an Effect of Social and Historical Race Relationships” is authored by Darryl Somayaji, PhD, RN, CNS, CCRC and Kristin Gates Cloyes, PhD, RN. They present a compelling discussion of the need to better understand the experience of African Americans as research participants, and to use this understanding to change the social and political realities of the research environment, research practices, and the teaching of research methods. Dr Somayaji shared the following account of how this work evolved:
Kristin and I are honored that our article was selected to be featured for the current issue of ANS. I was fortunate to be a doctoral student of Dr. Kristin Gates Cloyes at the University of Utah, School of Nursing. Although our clinical backgrounds and expertise are different (Kristin’s in mental health; mine in cancer and cancer research), we share a
Dr. Somayaji (left) and Dr. Cloyes
common history of interest in social justice and health equity. Kristin’s knowledge and expertise in critical research was instrumental in opening my eyes to new ways of thinking about research theory and how different approaches to research can translate to practice. The article “Uniting Postcolonial, Discourse, and Linguistic Theory to Explore Participation of African Americans in Cancer Research as an Effect of Social and Historical Race Relations” is from my dissertation work on exploring African American participation in research. Our hope is that this article will illuminate the complexity of participation in cancer research, and the importance of understanding how history, relationships, and language are closely tied to research subject identity.
The article will be available at no charge while it is featured on the ANS web site! I invite you to read this important and thought-provoking article while it is featured, and contribute your responses and thoughts on this topic by commenting here. This is a topic that calls for ongoing and lively discussion, and we welcome the opportunity to engage using this blog!