Weath­er­ing: The Extra­or­di­nary Stress of Ordi­nary Life in an Unjust Society

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2023

Amer­i­ca has wok­en up to what many of its cit­i­zens know in their bones and to what pub­lic health sta­tis­tics have evi­denced for decades: sys­temic injus­tice takes a phys­i­cal, too often dead­ly, toll on groups who expe­ri­ence cul­tur­al oppres­sion or eco­nom­ic exploita­tion. Arline Geron­imus coined the term weath­er­ing” to describe the effects of sys­temic oppres­sion — includ­ing racism, clas­sism, anti­semitism, Islam­o­pho­bia, xeno­pho­bia, & homo­pho­bia — on the body. Based on more than 30 years of sci­en­tif­ic research, she argues that health and aging have more to do with how soci­ety treats us than how well we take care of our­selves. She explains what hap­pens to human bod­ies as they attempt to with­stand and over­come the chal­lenges and insults that our unequal soci­ety lever­ages against the mar­gin­al­ized, and details how this process rav­ages their health from the soci­etal to cel­lu­lar lev­els. Until now, there has been lit­tle dis­cus­sion about these insid­i­ous effects of social injus­tice on the body. Weath­er­ing shifts the par­a­digm, shin­ing a light on the top­ic and offer­ing a roadmap for hope and equity.

Discussion Questions