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Black and Minority Ethnic (BME)

Black and Minority Ethnic communities

In recent days in the West, the increasing growth and number of “Black and Minority Ethnic communities” (BME), also referred to be “Diaspora communities”, potentially influence the mental health services and kinds of health needed by a different group of people or “other”. Over the next two decades in countries, like the United States or Canada, the variations in the nationwide demography, will distinctly change the behaviors in which mental health care and psychiatry are practiced, researched and hypothesized.

It would be important for meeting the requirements of several transnational, racial and ethnic communities. For instance, according to “United States Census 2006” in 35 different cities out of the United States’ 50 largest cities, the “non- Hispanic whites” are likely to become the minority. However, the existence of BME community in the region has led to their recognition as potential as well as significant contributors to the community.

In addition, it has also provided the evidence for BME community for the establishment of mental and health care services that meet their particular needs, with respect to eh religious, ethnic and racial perspectives. The potential progressions have also been made in order to indent the shell of colonial thinking and institutional racism in the field of the mental health profession. However, it is still required to avoid the stigmatization of blackness as insanity, their misdiagnosis and over-representation as infuriated, sad, depraved, etc. “The influence of racism in the social construction of commonly diagnosed categories of mental disorder is not always easy to discern. Political, social and ideological pressures current in society always impinge on the diagnostic process by influencing questions of intelligibility, common sense, clinical opinion, pragmatism and tradition and  racism acts through these pressures.”

Impact of labels and labeling theory

The Labeling theory indicates the perspectives of how the individuals’ behavior and self-identity might be influenced or determined in terms of description and classification. It is linked with the self-perceptions of fulfilling stereotyping and self- prophecy. This theory embraces that nonconformity is not an inherent characteristic of an individual to an act, rather it emphasize the potential of majorities to destructively label the minorities in the community or the individuals perceived as divergent from normal cultural standards. The labeling theory is not only concerned with the normal rules which define the individuals’ lives, but also the individuals with those potentially significant roles which community delivers for the deviant behavior, known as social stigma, stigmatic roles, or deviant roles. The social stigma refers to the consequences of enacted laws which exist in contradiction of behavior. For instance, the laws outlawing homosexuality or protecting slavery will associate with those behaviors form divergent roles over time. In such cases, the individuals assigned to these roles would be considered as less reliable or fewer humans. These divergent roles are the influential foundations of negative stereotypes that support the society’s disapproval of the behavior.