This chapter focuses on the use of Thompson’s PCS analysis (Thompson, 2001a) as a framework for understanding the complexities of how racism impacts upon losses experienced by black and ethnic minority people. The usefulness of an analysis within such a Personal, Cultural and Structural understanding is twofold. First, it allows us to examine the impact of racism in a much more interrelated way, thus ensuring that racism is not brought down to some very simplistic analysis (for example, that racism is the sole result of ‘prejudice and power’ — see Sibeon, 1991, for a critique of this) or that understanding people’s cultures is the sole way for better race relations. Second, examining racism from a personal, cultural and structural analysis allows us to move away from seeing a ‘commonsense’ understanding and pathologizing of other people’s cultures and lifestyles as being the ‘truth’ about how such people and communities live. A classic example that continues to be offered as an explanation by many social care agencies for not providing services to many Asian communities, is that such communities prefer to ‘look after their own’ (Patel, 1990). This is a theme picked up within this chapter, which not only shows how Asian communities have been marginalized within many health and social care services because of this ‘fact’, but also how such communities themselves have been pushed into a position where they have to care for their own.
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