Ethnic social cohesion and population health case-studies : Malaysia, Fiji and South Africa

Sagoo, Kiran Kaur
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011]
This dissertation focuses on ethnic relations in postcolonial plural societies and its impact on social cohesion as measured through population health. It is an exploratory study to determine whether there is a relationship between ethnic social cohesion and the overall health of a nation, as measured through infant mortality and life expectancy rates. The major country case-studies are Malaysia, Fiji and South Africa. While these countries do not fall into a specific geographical space within the conventional boundaries of area studies, these countries share a similar colonial British heritage and do fall into the field of commonwealth studies. More importantly, these countries share similarities of being ethnically diverse and face similar social issues. Expanding the concept of social cohesion to include the ethnic heterogeneity dimension, this dissertation develops the concept of ethnic social cohesion by identifying and discussing various components such as ethnic boundary formation, ethnic stratification, and combining it with various social cohesion indicators such as a sense of belonging, trust and an absence of conflict. In addressing the major research question, the findings suggest that ethnic social cohesion does appear to have an impact on population health.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
ethnic social cohesion
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