Dr. Geronimus first coined the term “weathering” almost 40 years ago to describe the effects of systemic oppression on marginalized people’s bodies—even down to the cellular level. Amid a raging pandemic, environmental chaos, and economic instability, those effects are now felt more acutely than ever. In her ground breaking new book, WEATHERING: The Extraordinary Stress of Ordinary Life in an Unjust Society:(Little, Brown Spark; March28,2023),Dr. Geronimus argues that health and aging have more to do with how society treats us than how well we take care of ourselves.
For too long, the public has believed in the concept of a universally uniform growth, health, and aging process in which making“ healthy choices” will lead to a long, fruitful life. But this does not show the whole picture. Hard-working and responsible people of color, working class, and poor whites are often propelled onto trajectories of deteriorated health, accelerated aging, and dying well before their time simply because they live in a rigged and exploitative system. Through weathering, members of marginalized populations age prematurely, no matter how well they follow the social contract or the latest dispatches from the frontlines of healthy behavioral science.
Dr. Arline T. Geronimus is a Professor in the School of Public Health and Research Professor in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, where she also is affiliated with the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.
Meeting ID: 953 1918 8527
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