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Valued Cultures and Identities

Cultural identity refers to individuals’ ability to creatively express and celebrate their culture, history and traditions. It also calls for arts and culture to positively reflect and value the backgrounds of all community residents. Positive reflections of cultural identities encourage health by promoting a sense of pride and community connection among people.

Disparities and Statistics

  • Race and Ethnicity: The census received backlash for grouping individuals from different Latin American countries into one group, as many of people self-identify with distinct cultures, languages, and social norms.²⁶

  • Socioeconomic Status: Poverty is an important cause and product of social exclusion. Material deprivation can generate experiences of social exclusion and isolation because of limited available resources for engaging in community, leisure and family activities and accessing health and social services. In turn, processes of stigma and discrimination can limit opportunities in the workplace and the labour market that can lead to material deprivation.

  • Health: Social deprivation due to non-participation in community activities, and social isolation, have all been linked to poor health outcomes. The social capital and health literature has demonstrated quite convincingly that meaningful participation in formal and informal community activities and organisations is linked to good health.