Thesis

Latina and latino cultural responses to lupus

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an incurable autoimmune condition triggered by unknown factors and causes the immune system to attack healthy body tissues. SLE affects 1.5 million Americans and “is 2-4 times more frequent in non-white populations” (Pons-Estel et al. 1). The purpose of this study was to explore how in the face of chronic illnesses, such as lupus, and lack of or access to healthcare, Latina and Latino lupus patients have devised ways to use their community cultural wealth to respond to illness. This study employed qualitative in-depth structured interviews with three Latinas and one Latino to explore the six types of cultural capital that comprise Yosso’s community cultural wealth theory. This study challenges the deficit viewpoint pertaining to the culture of people of color by examining the resources that have resulted as a response to illness while living in a society that perpetuates systematic disadvantages for people of color.

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