A Humanizing Gaze for Transcultural Nursing Research Will Tell the Story of Health Disparities Academic Article uri icon


  • If we limit our gaze to epidemiologic or medicalized discourse about health disparities, we risk losing sight of the person living in a health disparity context. We may erase or make invisible the person from a health disparity group; pathologize difference at the population level and, by extension, stigmatize the individual; eliminate the upstream context or causes of disparities; and obscure the human story. For the continued viability of our ideas about health disparities, it is crucial that we maintain cognitive flexibility. The unconscious bedrock of trusted ideas about "culture" and "disparities" can be enriched through a humanized view of the person in the health disparities story. Transcultural nursing research complements the biomedical gaze, placing the patient at the center of a cultural context where health problems are embodied, place based, and socially constituted. Humanizing our practice depends on dialogues with those who experience health disparity conditions.

publication date

  • 2014