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Education and Inequality in India: A Classroom View (Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series)

Sampling considered province or territory and health region of residence and applied three sampling frames a multistage stratified cluster design in an area frame, a list frame of telephone numbers, and a random digit dialing frame to select the sample of households. One person was chosen randomly from each household to complete the survey. A total of , usable responses were obtained, representing a national response rate of Final person estimation weights were provided by Statistics Canada. This investigation focuses on survey respondents who were aged 25 and older at the time of the survey.

The logistic regression models were applied to the 90, respondents with valid information for the age, race, gender, education, household income, sexual orientation, and self-rated health variables. In comparison with the working sample, the sample of missing cases was older, poorer, and less educated on average and contained proportionately more widows, non-Whites, and adult immigrants to Canada. Survey respondents were asked the following question: "People living in Canada come from many different cultural and racial backgrounds.

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Are you: White? South Asian e. Latin American? Southeast Asian e. West Asian e. Other - specify. Due to small sample sizes for some responses this variable was recoded as follows: Aboriginal, Asian combining the Chinese, Korean and Japanese categories , Black, South Asian, and White, as well as a residual category created by combining the remaining categories, including the original "other" category, into a single un-interpretable category labeled "other.

Highest educational attainment and household income were used to assess class standing. To assess household income, respondents were asked: "What is your best estimate of the total income, before taxes and deductions, of all household members from all sources in the past 12 months? Sexual orientation was assessed as follows: "Do you consider yourself to be: Heterosexual? Global self-rated health, a variable known to encompass both physical and mental well-being and to reliably predict other, more objective, measures of health [ 36 ] as well as mortality [ 37 ], was assessed as follows: "I'll start with a few questions about your health in general.


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In general, would you say your health is: Excellent? Very good? Each nominal independent variable in a regression model was treated as a set of dummy variables with one missing dummy variable serving as the reference.


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  8. Because the N for a reference category should be large in order to provide a stable reference point, "White" was assigned the reference category for race and "heterosexual" was assigned the reference category for sexual orientation. In addition, "male" was assigned the reference category for gender and "postgraduate degree" was assigned the reference category for education.

    This strategy facilitated ready interpretation of how the other identities fare relative to what are generally considered the more privileged identities in Canadian society. Nagelkerke pseudo R 2 , a rough measure of the proportion of variability explained by a logistic regression model, was presented for each additive model. Introducing cross-product terms to hierarchically well-ordered models is a common approach to investigating statistical interactions in the context of logistic regression [ 38 ].

    Alpha was set at 0. The logistic regression models were implemented in SPSS Because the sampling design for the CCHS 2. Due to the limitations of BOOTVAR, results from omnibus tests of significance for categorical variables and interaction terms comprised of sets of dummy variables and Model Chi-square tests of significance for logistic regression models in their entirety could not be generated.

    The women of the sample were slightly more likely than the men to report fair or poor self-rated health, controlling for age, but upon additionally controlling for the other inequality variables gender was not significantly related to self-rated health. Educational attainment and household income were both significantly associated with self-rated health, in the expected directions, before and after controlling for the other variables. Finally, self-identified bisexual respondents were more likely than heterosexuals to report fair or poor self-rated health, holding age constant, although the association weakened to the point of non-significance after controlling for the other inequality variables.

    The decline in effect size for Aboriginal identity compared to White identity from Model I to Model V was mostly due to differences in education and income whereas the declines in effect sizes for female compared to male identity and bisexual orientation compared to heterosexual orientation were primarily due to differences in income results not shown. Comparisons of odds ratios and Nagelkerke R 2 values indicate that education and income followed by race were the strongest predictors of self-rated health. Education and income were also implicated in some of the "hidden" explained variability in the regression models results not shown.

    Regarding the overall contributions of the main effects to predicted variability in health, as a set the five inequality variables produced an increase in Nagelkerke R 2 of 0. The health effects of gender were minimal and the health scores of homosexuals did not differ significantly from those of heterosexuals. Class was the strongest distinct predictor of health of the four axes of inequality. With regards to the principle of simultaneity, these results suggest that sexual orientation, race, and class are especially relevant intersectionality axes of inequality in this national context, with directions that point to the negative health experiences of bisexuals, members of lower classes, and Canadians claiming Aboriginal, Asian, or South Asian identities in particular.

    Interactions that included education and income, the two indicators of class, were not considered. Insufficiently large cell sizes precluded investigation of the two-way interaction between race and sexual orientation and the three-way cross-product terms that included sexual orientation and necessitated use of a dichotomized version of education has a university degree or not in the two-way and three-way interactions that included education and race. These visual depictions of predicted probabilities aid in determining whether aggravating effects multiplicative advantage or disadvantage or non-aggravating effects such as mitigating effects pertained to the multiplicative scenarios.

    Neither of the three-way interactions had a statistically significant effect on self-rated health. Consider first the interaction between gender and income. The plot also contains predicted probabilities from a multiplicative model incorporating the interaction between gender and income. The interaction between gender and income on self-rated health therefore represents a mitigating effect for lower-class women. Two-way interactions between the four axes of inequality therefore contributed less than one percent predicted variability in self-rated health. In summary, each of the four axes of inequality interacted significantly with at least one other, suggesting that all four axes belong to the pantheon of intersectionality axes of inequality that contribute to health inequalities in Canada.

    Lastly, the multiplicative models contributed relatively little to overall predicted variability in self-rated health over and above the contribution of the full additive model. From the perspective of intersectionality theory, by focusing on a subset of the inequality identities or by treating multiple axes of inequality as distinct rather than intersected processes, a social researcher is in danger of misunderstanding the nature of social experiences and identities manifested in specific contexts and thus in danger of producing results and interpretations that are as misleading as they are incomplete.

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    The Canadian Community Health Survey dataset is especially well suited to investigating the applicability of intersectionality theory to health disparities in Canada. It is the first and only Statistics Canada survey dataset to assess sexual orientation, distinguishing between bisexuals, homosexuals, and heterosexuals, and unlike most Canadian survey datasets it is large enough to produce a multi-category measure of race.

    The analysis described herein is therefore unique by virtue of its consideration of intersections between all four key inequality axes of intersectionality theory, its consideration of bisexual identities as well as homosexual and heterosexual identities, and its consideration of racialized identities such as Aboriginal, Asian, and South Asian as well as Black and White. In addition, the application of central principles of intersectionality theory to Canada, close neighbor to the United States, can contribute to future speculation about the portability of intersectionality assumptions across borders.

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    Cross-contextual comparisons are essential in light of the fact that institutionalized race relations, gender relations, etc. However, several important limitations of the study require acknowledgment. The validity of the sexual orientation survey question is of some concern. The small percentage of people who chose a non-heterosexual orientation in general suggests that many survey respondents may have been unwilling to reveal a historically stigmatized identity to interviewers. The especially small percentages of people reporting a non-heterosexual orientation in several of the non-White groups speaks to cultural differences in professing stigmatized non-heterosexual orientations, a knotty measurement problem for any study that seeks to investigate intersections between sexual orientation and race.

    Lastly, by virtue of excluding Indian Reserves from the sampling process the survey sample does not represent on-reserve Aboriginal people in Canada who are known to have even poorer health than off-reserve Aboriginal Canadians [ 40 ]. The intersectionality principle of simultaneity maintains that all four axes of inequality should be considered in an analysis while the principle of multiplicativity maintains that intersections between axes should overshadow or supplant the individual axes themselves in their effects.

    Although we carry our identities into every social situation, not all of them are necessarily salient in or relevant to a particular encounter [ 7 ]. Even so, race, gender, class, and sexual orientation all manifested independent relationships with health at the additive stage of my analysis and each of the four axes intersected meaningfully with at least one other axis, suggesting that all four of these intersectionality axes of inequality were operative for better or for worse in many of the social situations encountered by survey respondents in their everyday lives.

    In short, the principles of simultaneity and multiplicativity founded upon the inequality foursome of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation appear to be relevant for disparities in health in Canada. The intersectionality assumption of multiple jeopardy maintains that meaningful intersections manifest multiplicative - inordinate amounts of - disadvantage or advantage.

    While two intersections were to indeed to the further detriment of certain complex social locations, i. Many other possible interactions were not large or statistically significant. It therefore appears that, with regards to self-rated health in Canada at least, multiple jeopardy can be more or less than or most often simply equal to cumulative double or triple jeopardy.

    This multiplicity of multiplicative possibilities demands a kind of conceptual fluidity that is not accommodated by the principle of multiple jeopardy as it is depicted it in the introduction to this paper. Bart Landry [ 9 ] argues that while the notion of oppression is useful and undoubtedly reflects real experiences, for intersectionality theory to realize its full potential in social research it must accommodate more neutral experiences of differences or variations in experiences across social locations that are not inherently oppressive.

    The plight of poor homosexuals may indeed reflect a multiple jeopardy that accrues at the intersection of the oppressive forces of heterosexism and capitalism. However, the interaction between gender and race reported here suggests that certain characteristics of South Asian communities are detrimental for the health of women and beneficial for the health of men.