The Social Determinants of Health literature has consistently found that a higher socioeconomic status is associated with better health outcomes even after adjusting for traditional risk factors. However, research findings in the field of Migrants’ Health suggest that the socioeconomic/health gradient does not always behave as expected for migrants and their descendants. The mismatch of findings in these two long-standing parallel research traditions is exemplified by frequent reports of paradoxical findings in the scientific literature: the healthy migrant paradox, the ethnic density paradox and the diminishing returns paradox. This paper outlines a transdisciplinary research agenda to elucidate the social processes that underpin these disconcerting findings and calls for a shift from a pathogenic deficit model that sees migrants as a burden to their reconceptualisation as actively engaged citizens in search of solutions. Amidst a severe refugee crisis, fears of terrorist attacks and political capitalisation of these tragedies to foster antimigrant sentiments, this is urgently needed.
- MigrantsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ heath
- ethnic studies
- social determinants of health
- participatory research methods
- qualitative methods
- trans-disciplinary research
- public and patient involvement
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Contributors MR conceived and wrote this paper with insights and contributions from Professor Ailish Hannigan, Professor Anne MacFarlane and Dr Nazmy Villarroel-Williams.
Funding MR is currently funded by the Irish Health Research Board, as part of the project "Ethnic Minority Health in Ireland - Building the evidence base to address health inequities" (HRA-PHR-2015-1344).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.