Miami-Dade County is characterized by a high level of population diversity. In the ethnically diverse environments, racial and cultural features affect individuals’ lives to a large extent, and the consideration of these factors is necessary for the adequate community health assessment.
For the given Capstone Project I selected the Jewish community because it is the minor ethnic group with a distinct cultural background that, to a large extent, defines the challenges and problems which the members of the given aggregate face in different spheres of life. Miami is characterized by a significant level of socio-economic inequality based on racial and other demographic criteria, and the given disparities result in inequitable access to health care and environmental injustice (Evans, Rosen, Kesten, & Moore, 2014). Based on this, I would like to analyze the selected community in this broader social context and identify how the ethnic and cultural attributes, in relations to the overall social environment, contribute to family and individual health.
The Jewish population in Greater Miami accounts nearly 7 percent of the total population (Jansonius, n.d.). Although nowadays, the Jewish community is among the largest in the United States, it also one of the latest. Some presence of the ethnic group members in the territory could be found since 1896. At that time, most of Miami Jewish residents were businessmen. According to Jansonius (n.d.), “in these early years Jews lived and worked side by side with non-Jews without any major friction or discrimination” (para. 4). Nevertheless, as the community expanded and significant cultural and ethnic distinctions became apparent (due to the establishment of Jewish institutions in the region), the social and geographical segregation increased.
The overall population in Miami-Dade County is over two million citizens, and over 50% of them are culturally diverse foreign groups (Evans et al., 2014). In the situation of a high population diversity, the government strives to promote equality. However, the issue of ethnicity-based social inequality remains topical even today. According to the statistical data, over 40% of Jewish individuals in Miami were exposed to harsh anti-Semitism at least once in their lives (Labgold, 2014). Hostility and discrimination represent a significant problem for the selected population group, and the consideration of the given factor in family assessment is essential. Nevertheless, highly distinct cultural identity, strong cohesion among the group members, and the existence of the Jewish Institutions in the region can be regarded as the major strengths of the community.
Other aggregate’s strengths include a high level of its representatives’ education, as well as the fast pace of growth in the younger cohort and the community as a whole (Labgold, 2014). At the same time, although the income level of the majority of Miami Jews is relatively high, 29% of the population “just managing to make ends meet” (Labgold, 2014, p. 9). Additionally, the size of the aging Jewish population is high, and nearly 30% of older persons live alone (Labgold, 2014).
It is possible to say that, like the broader multi-ethnic social community, the Jewish community is very diverse – all its members significantly differ from each other based on demographic, financial, educational, household, and other criteria. For this reason, the research of the given aggregate is of significant interest. Overall, the evaluation of the social environment and the position of the Jewish community in it will assist in the development of strategies aimed to increase family and individual well-being.
Evans, S. D., Rosen, A. D., Kesten, S. M., & Moore, W. (2014). Miami thrives: Weaving a poverty reduction coalition. American Journal of Community Psychology, 53(3-4), 357-368. Web.
Jansonius, R. (n.d.). Miami’s Jewish heritage and history. Web.
Labgold, M. (2014). Summary report of the 2014 Greater Miami Jewish Federation Population study: A portrait of the Miami Jewish Community. Web.