The souls of embodiment: Early life stress, inequality, and racism in 20th-century black and white Americans



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Systemic racism and structural violence are significant public health concerns receiving attention from social and biological scientists. Discrimination based on social race, gender, and socioeconomic status, shapes intergenerational experiences of health. Early life conditions are significant predictors of future health and disease. Exposure to resource deficient environments differentially affects the prevalence of co-morbidities. Human skeletal remains offer compelling data to investigate the extent of social and ecological variables on mortality ratios. This thesis investigates examples of structural violence and institutional racism within osteological collections. Additionally, considerations of how body politics, informed by changes in laws and interpretations of social inclusion, can inform researcher interpretation of human remains and individuals who become commodified within anatomical populations.