What is Critical Race Theory?
Critical race theory is an interdisciplinary approach to viewing race and race relations, and the conceptualization of race on which the theory operates is that race is a social construct created by a dominant cultural group. The main objective of this theory is to explore race from the contra-narrative point of view, prioritizing the experience of oppressed groups over the top-down narratives. Contra-narratives are an essential element of race theory because they help recontextualize reality and see it from another perspective that exposes prejudice and bias ingrained into everyday life, using the real-life experience of the oppressed people.
The issue of master narratives
Critical race theory does not conform to the master narratives and, at times, rejects them outright, questioning the existing ideology. Unfortunately, master narratives have become so ingrained in the modern culture that many people do not even recognize the racism that runs through them. Even the emancipatory movements gained traction only when they benefited the dominant groups as well as the oppressed.
To expose the inherent prejudice and power imbalance that was built into the culture, the narratives must be deconstructed and viewed from the standpoint of the oppressed. The seemingly ‘normal’ things are questioned continuously and seen from a non-white angle with a historical perspective. The real experience of real people is prioritized over formally codified laws to look at what the world is, instead of what the dominant group wishes or pretends to be real.
The historically created and culturally upheld narratives first manifest themselves as unconscious internalized racism. It manifests in a non-conditional assumption that the white identity is superior to the non-white identities.
These subconscious biases then spill into conscious interactions, creating interpersonal racism. The members of the oppressed and dominant groups communicate in such a way that minimizes, excludes, or outright abuses the member of the oppressed group. Finally, as that becomes the social norm, it becomes reflected in the institutions, serving to perpetuate the culture of racial inequality that benefits the dominant group. Notably, race is often not singular, nor the only identity that a person may have. Different cultures with different conceptions of race may perceive a person to belong to different racial groups.
How it Allows “Seeing” Race Critically?
By acknowledging the critical race theory, one can take a critical approach to evaluate different social, political, economic, and legislative concepts regarding race that can be oppressive or contradictory. Moreover, this allows one to work towards mitigating the consequences of oppression based on race. For instance, through critical race theory, one can recognize other forms of subordination that are connected to race and racial oppression. Additionally, it allows examining and questioning the dominant ideology that guides society and using knowledge, the experience of people, and a transdisciplinary approach for making a change. In general, critical race theory is a necessary element of viewing the world critically and changing it for the better by emphasizing the experience of the minorities.
Racism and Other Forms of Oppression
As was mentioned, critical race theory allows viewing subordination as another form of oppression that is connected to one’s race. Notably, critical race theory was established after scholars noticed the inconsistencies in the way minorities were able to access different institutions and positions, including getting adequate healthcare or obtaining education and having a job in fields such as academia.
Moreover, critical race theory employs analysis of intersectionalities, such as gender, or ethnicity, social status, and sexuality, as a means of examining oppression. A black liberal Muslim female housekeeper in Mississippi has to contend with a wholly different society than a gay liberal black male executive in San Francisco. Critical Race Theory recognizes the cultural hegemonies that rule over these identities as well, primarily through its offshoots, such as FemCrit. Race is also more complicated than black and white, which is explored in LatCrit or AsianCrit.
Incivility In The Workplace: Types, Examples
Incivility in the workplace is a specific type of corporate aggression that is characterized by abusive behavior from managers, supervisors, or colleagues against employees on a permanent basis. It includes the employers or co-workers’ constant ridiculing and berating of colleagues or employees, ignoring their requests and needs, avoiding conversations, addressing them in an inappropriate manner, and refusing to encourage their hard work (Abid, Khan, Rafiq, & Ahmed, 2015).
There is a commonly held opinion that the most suitable solution to such work-related problems may be the worker’s retaliation or quit. However, due to global economic recessions that negatively affect the employment situation, the prevalent number of talented workers decide to digest substantively widespread abusive behavior from their managers.
There are several types of incivility that include verbal-passive, verbal-active, physical-passive, and physical-active levels of inappropriate aggression in the workplace. Verbal-passive incivility may be divided into indirect (a lack of interest in all kinds of explanation) and direct (the intentional ignorance of all contacts). Verbal-active incivility may be represented in any form – from the dissemination of rumors and false information about colleagues to open verbal confrontations.
Physical-passive abusive behavior is characterized by the attempts to hide the employee’s underperformance or prejudice a team against one co-worker. Physical-active workplace incivility may be regarded as the most harmful level of corporate aggression as it is connected with either stealing or destroying of the organization’s property or the abuser’s physical attacks.
Unfortunately, I became the witness of the workplace incivility against my close friend, who works as a nurse practitioner in a large hospital, from his supervisor. Supposedly, the manager was permanently and exhausted due to operation loads as he was in charge of multiple duties besides his work with nurse practitioners who started their practice direct after graduation. Nevertheless, my friend constantly experienced mockery concerning his age and a lack of qualifications and experience, cold communication, and ignorance as the answer to the substantial number of his questions. He suffered several months until this supervisor got the position in another department of the hospital.
Despite the fact that I did not experience this workplace incivility personally and could not respond, I had a wide range of emotions concerning this situation. I imagined myself in the place of my friend, and the first feeling I would feel was guilt. When you receive a negative attitude from a person who has more experience, you automatically start to think you do wrong things. However, with time I would definitely feel anger as my practice was successful though I still received aggression or ignorance from my supervisor. I believe that this person could have his reasons for such behavior – physically and emotionally demanding work, stress, or problems with a family or health. Probably, a trust-based conversation non-related to work between the administer and his supervisees would be able to improve their relationships.
The workforce incivility has a significant negative effect on work outcomes. Considering the current market situation when the successful development of any organization depends on the effective team operation, incivility encourages unstable relationships between colleagues and decreased productivity (Abid, Khan, Rafiq, & Ahmed, 2015). Incivility damages the employees’ psychological and physical health and causes depression and anxiety (Abid, Khan, Rafiq, & Ahmed, 2015).
However, there are possible ways to establish a healthy work environment. First of all, all colleagues should start to control their own behavior as everyone should give what he or she expects to get in return. Moreover, inappropriate behavior should be noticed and discussed as soon as possible, as in most cases, it has in-depth and personal reasons, and an abuser may be in need of help.
Abid, G., Khan, B., Rafiq, Z., & Ahmed, A. (2015). Workplace incivility: Uncivil activities, antecedents, consequences, and level of incivility. Science International, 27(6), 6307-6312.
New Sustainable Development Goals In Healthcare
Sustainable development goals (SDGs) are “a new, universal set of goals, targets, and indicators” that the countries-members of the United Nations are expected to apply as a pattern for planning their activities and developing political policies during the following 15 years (Ford, 2015, para. 1). These goals apply to diverse spheres including health care. The paper is dedicated to the review of new sustainable development goals, a detailed examination of a goal related to healthcare issues, and observation of the role of nursing in achieving new sustainable development goals.
Review of New Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, the UN countries formulated a set of goals with intentions to “end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all” as a component of a new sustainable development agenda (The United Nations, 2018). 17 goals address different areas in the life of society that need improvement. Goal 1 aims to end poverty everywhere because it is still a global problem related not only to poor income but also resulting malnutrition, the lack of access to education, and other problems.
Goal 2 implies ending hunger, achieving food security, and improvement of nutrition globally. Goal 3 presupposed ensuring healthy lives of people and promotion of well-being for everyone disregarding age. Goal 4 is related to education, which is expected to be inclusive and of high quality. Goal 5 promotes the achievement of gender equality, which mainly presupposes empowerment of girls and women.
Goal 6 aims to resolve the burning problem of access to clean water in every part of the world. Goal 7 was developed to provide all nations with reliable and affordable sources of energy. Goal 8 promotes economic issues related to employment and decent work for all employees. Goal 9 involves the creation of resilient infrastructure, promotion of industrialization, and innovation empowerment. Goal 10 is directed at the reduction of inequality both on local and global levels (The United Nations, 2018). Goal 11 aims to create safe, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable cities that will simplify their maintenance.
Goal 12 implies ensuring sustainable production and consumption, which are related to resource and energy efficiency. Goal 13 is related to one of the burning environmental issues, which is climate change and its consequences. Goal 14 calls for conservation and sustainable use of marine resources as well as seas and oceans since they regulate a great part of life on the Earth. Goal 15 is responsible for life on land, sustainable management of forests, elimination of desertification, and prevention of land degradation and biodiversity loss. Goal 16 includes the promotion of just, peaceful, and inclusive societies (The United Nations, 2018). Finally, Goal 17 demands global partnership to empower the achievement of all the goals and provide sustainable development for humanity.
Sustainable Development Goal: Good Health and Well-Being
The Sustainable Development Goal related to a population healthcare issue is Good Health and Well-Being (The United Nations, 2018). The elected healthcare issue is maternal health. In its context, the sustainable development goal implies action aimed at life expectancy increase and reduction of factors causing maternal mortality. In recent decades, maternal mortality already decreased by almost 50% (“Good health and well-being,” 2018). Nevertheless, it is still high in some districts of Asia and Africa. The target of this goal related to maternity health includes the decrease of maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 by 2030.
This goal has the potential to enhance the provision of maternal health care. For example, such targets as the elimination of tuberculosis and AIDS epidemics, improvement of availability of reproductive healthcare services, and increase in funding healthcare development are expected to have a positive impact on health care as a whole and maternal health in particular. Elimination of epidemics is favorable for the health of the whole population, and better availability of reproductive health care services allows reproductive planning, which helps to preserve maternal health.
One of the agencies involved in helping countries to meet the Good Health and Well-Being goal is UN Women. It is a global agency advocating the equity and rights of women and girls in diverse aspects including health (“About UN Women,” 2018). It works to provide the meeting of needs of the female population worldwide. Currently, certain progress is observed in achieving the Good Health and Well-Being goal.
Thus, the World Health Organization (2018) reveals the following statistics about the target related to a reduction of the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births by 2030. However, complications during pregnancy or childbirth became reasons for 303 000 deaths of women in 2015. Still, the majority of deaths (99%) were registered in low- and middle-income countries. Thus, the reduction of maternal mortality is significantly influenced by the access that women have to quality care before, during, and after childbirth (World Health Organization, 2018).
Lim et al. (2016) discovered sustainable development goals health-related index which proved to be the highest in Iceland (85.5) and the lowest in the Central African Republic (20.4). Therefore, it can be stated that low- and middle-income countries lack progress in achieving the goal under consideration in the aspect of maternity health. It can be explained by poor funding of healthcare in these countries and poor access to family planning and healthcare services on the whole.
The Role of Nursing in Achieving New Sustainable Development Goals
Nurses as participants of primary health care can contribute to achieving sustainable development goals. First of all, primary care teams with the participation of nurses provide daily practice thus contributing to different SDGs such as helping to end poverty, improve nutrition, provision of health education, empowerment of community members, and advocating justice, etc. (Pettigrew et al., 2015). Nurses have an opportunity to influence the population starting from the community level. Working with a certain community, nurses are aware of the existing problems that the SDGs and can introduce interventions to improve the situation.
For example, nurses working with pregnant women or young mothers can assess their needs and problems and assist in satisfying those needs and solving the problems. In such a way, nurses support the achievement of New Sustainable Development Goals on the community level thus contributing to global improvements.
To summarize, it should be mentioned that New Sustainable Development Goals are a logical continuation of the Millennium Development Goals that were determining the progress of the UN member countries during 15 years of the twenty-first century. SDGs are more detailed and comprise more burning problems that humanity faces and which need to be solved to provide sustainable development. Thus, joint efforts are necessary to advance the achievement of these goals and provide sustainable progress and preserve the resources necessary for mankind.
About UN Women. (2018). Web.
Ford, L. (2015). Sustainable development goals: All you need to know. The Guardian. Web.
Good health and well-being. (2018). Web.
Lim, S., Allen, K., Bhutta, Z., Dandona, L., Forouzanfar, M., Fullman, N., … Murray, C. (2016). Measuring the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: A baseline analysis from the global burden of disease study 2015. The Lancet, 388(10053), 1813-1850. Web.
Pettigrew, L., De Maeseneer, J., Anderson, M., Essuman, A., Kidd, M., & Haines, A. (2015). Primary health care and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Lancet, 386(10009), 2119-2121. Web.
The United Nations. (2015). The Millennium development goals report 2015. Web.
The United Nations. (2018). Sustainable development goals – United Nations. Web.
World Health Organization. (2018). Progress towards the SDGs: A selection of data from World Health Statistics. Web.