Impact of Culture on Health Essay

* What do we intend by civilization? * Culture is one of those constructs that most people seem to intuitively hold on. yet can non specify clearly. * The procedure of categorising groups of people as others ( other than one’s ain group ) is a common characteristic of the manner human existences think. and it forms a portion of the whole phenomenon we think of as civilization. * There other utilizations of the term civilization that can confound the state of affairs – for illustration. stating person is more civilized than the other. mentioning to some construct of high/elite civilization. expressed through personal manners. instruction and cognition. engagement in or acquaintance with artistic activities such as opera. modern art. penmanship. dance or theatre – that is contrasted to start civilization. * Definitions they portion the basic constituents. bing as a sort of whole and links many sorts of facets of life and societal construction within a group or society ; it refers to the relationship between what people know and believe and what they do ; it is acquired and shared. more or less. among members of the group or society and transmitted to members of the group/society over clip.

* The Authoritative Definition: Cultures is said to be that complex whole which includes cognition. belief. art. ethical motives. usage. and any other capablenesss and wonts acquired by adult male as a member of society ( E. B Taylor. 1871 ) * The Symbolic Definition: Human civilization is a sort of symbolic text. in which behaviour. objects. and belief interact together in a sort of on-going dramatic production that represents issues and constructs of intending Fr a peculiar society * Members act as characters in this expansive play and what goes on ( secret plan ) merely makes sense in mention to an implicit in interpretative model. * Culture as an Political orientation: Compare the construct of civilization to a sort of dominant political orientation or to beliefs. societal establishments. patterns. and media representation associated with peculiar constellations of power.

* Discourse at any point is linked with a constellation of power and the regulations for construing what is or is non a valid statement. * Culture Materialist Definitions. Sing civilization chiefly as a system of belief. pattern. and engineering straight tied to economic activity or to the version of a people to a peculiar physical environment. * Linguistic Definition: thought of a civilization as a type of linguistic communication. Speakers of the linguistic communication may utilize otherwise. to make slang. sarcasm. wit. or even poesies OR they make interrupt the regulations to make a peculiar consequence. BUT it is still the same linguistic communication and underneath the linguistic communication is some shared base of understanding about the nature of being and daily life. * Mental or Cognitive Definitions: Concept of civilization as something chiefly in the head of people within a peculiar group. a sort of shared conceptual model that organizes thought and behavior. From this position. civilization is non so much about what people do. but about what they think and how that determines what they do.

* Culture and Biocultural: Think of civilization in relation to the human status is to understand worlds as biocultural. It is something that is imposed on the biological universe by a society or group of people who have. over many old ages. developed a system of beliefs and patterns. * How can we specify the people who portion a peculiar civilization? * Is it a political definition? ( most instances no ) Is it a geographic boundary? A societal boundary? Is it faith? * Culture is non fixed but evolves every bit people from one society or group come into contact with other people or as they change over clip. their civilization alterations. * What do we intend by wellness?

* Free of disease – absence of pathogens and healthy immune system * Body maps usually – variety meats. nervous and other systems function as they should * Free of hurt and other jobs

* Eats healthy nutrients – nutrient that provides indispensable foods and is free of substances that cause harm to bodily maps. * Engage in healthy. preventative behaviour – basic hygiene. immunisations. sees a physician

* Avoids risky behaviour
* To be in sensible physical form.
* To be in a stable mental province to be happy. satisfied with life. acquire along with people
* General good being
* In some parts of the universe. standards defined by other civilizations can interfere with biomedical criterions. * To obese can be a mark of wealth or in the instance of females. birthrate. maternal capableness and warm personality. * Rites that frequently involve what we might name “health risks” yet they are understood to be good and perfectly necessary to continue to the following life phase. * To understand diverse constructs of wellness and healthy behaviour. it is necessary to believe of wellness in a broader manner. beyond biomedical. * Health is frequently really near to thoughts within that civilization about being good.



Chapter 3: Ethnomedicine I: Cultural Health Systems of Related Knowledge and Practice.

* An ethnomedical system can be defined as: an applied cultural cognition system related to wellness that sets out the sorts of wellness jobs that can be. their causes and ( based on their causes ) appropriate interventions – as an interconnected system of belief and nature. * It is of cardinal importance when believing about the cultural facet of ethnomedical system is that across civilizations there are different replies to all of these inquiries. from the scope of possible wellness jobs. to causes. to interventions. every bit good as the closely related inquiry of what sorts of persons are qualified to supply intervention * Human existences are biocultural some theoreticians have found it utile to do a differentiation between disease ( unnatural biomedical province caused by pathogens or physical anomalousnesss ) and an unwellness ( a culturally defined province of non being good. with many culturally defined causes including biomedical ) . * Disease and unwellness may or may non mention to the same phenomenon.

* Functionally. both systems have the same sorts of elements and in both instances there is a linkage between the elements. The differences have to make with the specific content. and the agencies by which cause is determined ( with regard to do – in the biomedical instance. that includes both research and clinical diagnosis. ) * Where the biomedical system categorizes unwell provinces based on physical symptoms linked to biological causes. the nonbiomedical system may hold its categorization on combinations of emotional and physical manifestations links to the religious causes. break in harmoniousness. instability in a person’s life style or an improper mix of substances and forces. * Personalistic system – disease is due to the “active. purposeful intercession of an agent” where the sick individual is the object of action by a magician. spirit or supernatural force.

* The general form of intervention is to block/counter the religious agent with religious forces in support of the patient. The centre of action ( in footings of cause or intervention ) is non needfully within the patient. but in the supernatural universe. * Naturalistic system – disease is explained by the impersonal actions of systems based on old historical systems of great civilisations. Illness arise when people are out of balance physically. spiritually. or in some other manner. * The form of intervention is to reconstruct balance through assorted combinations of herbal medicinal. speculation. diet. lifestyle alterations. or other actions.

* A really of import rule to retrieve is that a given societal or cultural group will seldom run in mention to a individual ethnomedical system. The norm for most people is multiple and coexisting ethnomedical systems of some blending of elements from assorted types of systems. One system may be dominant. but facets of other systems are besides likely to be included. * The Placebo Effect and Role of Belief – placebo consequence the inclination for interventions and pills to hold no biochemical or biomedical consequence to do betterment in patient wellness symptoms. This occurs because of the belief that the intervention or pill has healing belongingss or because of the ritual procedure of traveling to a physician itself. * Ethnomedical Systems: Non-Western Examples

* Ayurvedic Medicine ( India ) * Originates with ancient Vedic civilization in India and focues on bar and a holistic construct of wellness accomplished through the maitenence of balance in many countries of life. including idea. diet. life style and the usage of herbs. * Body is comprised of 3 primary energy types called dosha each represents features derived from the 5 elements of infinite. air. fire. H2O and Earth. * Vata subtle energy associated with motion * Pittaconnected to the body’s metabolic system * Kapha associated with organic structure construction

* Cambodian/Khmer Health Belief Systems * The traditional system portions some facets in common with Chinese and other Asiatic systems in the accent on balance. Illness may be attributed to imbalance in natural forces. This is frequently symbolized or expressed as the influence of air current or kchall on blood circulation unwellness * South African Health Belief Systems

* Among the Shona and other peoples. one facet of a realistic system is understood to be related to the presence of a nyoka or snake in the organic structure. Movement of the nyoka is related to many diseases. including diarrhoea. tummy complaints. sexually familial infections. epilepsy. mental deceleration and others. * Health Belief Systems in Latin America and the Carribbean * Espiritismo common in Cuba and Puerto Rice. synthesis of Afro-Caribbean. French. and perchance U. S. medium. The belief system is that there is both a supreme being and a universe of liquors with influence on wellness that can be accessed through a medium. typically in a group seance-like scene. * Santeria besides found in Cuba and Puerto Rico. blend of West African and Catholic traditions. It is based on the thought that there are many liquors called “orishas” who are connected to the supreme being and who can be appealed to assist in assorted dimensions of life.

* Curanderismo founded in many parts of central/latin America ; a therapist or curandero makes a diagnosing utilizing tarot-type cards or by brushing a broken egg or other object across the organic structure of the patient. The thought is that there is a supremem/higher power that is the beginning of energy. and the curandero is the instrument of that higher power. * Western Example – the biomedical system is chiefly based on a categorization system tied to biological phenomena – the action of pathogens ( viruses. bacteriums ) . cellular or other biomechanical malfunctions. injuries/system harm. and others. Treatment is. of class. straight connected to Renaissance mans or specializers trained to turn to specific sorts of biomedical phenomena.

Chapter 4: Ethnomedicine II: Cultural Systems of Psychology and Mental/Emotional Health

The Cultural Construction of Mental/Emotional Illness

* Anything defined as an unnatural mental/emotional province is besides likely to affect a cultural opinion and therefore may state a batch about cultural values and beliefs as a whole at peculiar minutes in history * Ex. drapetomania – the disease doing Blacks to run off. It was thought to be a curable disease of the head. affecting sulkiness and dissatisfaction prior to running off. that could be brought on when white slave proprietors trated slaves excessively much like human existences. or on the other manus when they were excessively barbarous and barbarous. * Ex. dysaethesia aethiopica – characterized by a province of half-sleep and a physical or nervous insensibility that caused them to act like “rascals” * DSM – mention book for mental conditions that are viewed in Western/biomedicine as unnatural. with elaborate descriptions of the etiology. symptoms and intervention for each status. While it is based on scientific/clinical research. the symptoms and descriptions for many conditions offer a absorbing glance of the manner in which such conditions can be shaped by cultural outlooks and alterations in such outlooks.

* Ex. Antisocial Personality Disorder the symptoms seem to sketch a sort of personality that could be viewed as troublesome if non condemnable but the image changes when context and civilization are added. * Ex. ADHD harmonizing to the DSM IV. this upset is characterized by two sets of symptoms – inattention and hyperactivity impulsivity. This is a status that can do troubles and impairs appropriate operation. But there is room for reading. Some elements of hyperactivity and are subjective and depend on culturally related criterions for appropriate behaviour.

The Question of Universal vs. Culture-Specific

* Do all worlds existences experience the same mental wellness phenomena or emotional phenomena? * The universalist place would reason that human existences have basically the same psychological make-up – a place frequently referred to as “psychic unity” * The cultural relativist position civilizations entail alone forms of idea and behaviour. * Combination of both positions civilizations shape how emotions and mental experiences are constructed. named. and given significance. and the life spiels of specific civilizations tend to stress peculiar stressors that may ensue in mental wellness issues. * There make look to be some mental wellness conditions that occur in some signifier across civilizations. and so could be seen as cosmopolitan conditions ( ex. depression ) .

* Mental conditions that appear alone to one or a few cultural groups can be thought of in 2 ways * civilization edge syndromes defined as any signifier of disturbed behaviour that is specific to a certain cultural system and does non conform to western categorization of diseases * Many of these forms are considered to be “illnesses” and have local names. * Problems with culture-bound syndromes: no suggested stairss for how a supplier should integrate cultural factors into the diagnosing or larn what those factors are ; overlap between some conditions across civilizations ; the procedure of choosing the civilization edge system is ill-defined

* Conditionss that are prompted by specific forms of societal emphasis and/or ecological contexts * Ex. In the Saora folk in India there is a curious status among immature work forces and adult females who cry and laugh at inappropriate times. experience memory loss and feel like they are being bitten by emmets. These immature people are considered misfits and are non interested inpursuing the traditional subsistence of farming life. For this. they are under considerable emphasis due to societal force per unit area from relations and friends. To work out this job. a matrimony ceremonial is carried out in which the disturbed individual is married to the spirit. Young individual becomes a priest-doctor. * Anorexia/Bulimia in the United States

* Fear of weight addition and deformed position of one’s organic structure. This causes people to curtail their feeding or orgy eat/purge. One of the cardinal contributing factors is the combination of weigh addition during pubescence set against perceived societal force per unit area to conform to culturally specific ideals of beauty * Historical Trauma

* American Indian/Alaska Native populations have long experienced a scope of disparities in wellness. These peoples suffer from a corporate. psychological cicatrix ensuing from the experience of force. civilization loss. land loss. favoritism and eventual marginalisation that resulted from European colonialism and conquering in the Americas. * Immigrant/Refugee Mental Health Syndromes

* Many immigrants and refugee populations coming to the United States and other host states from civil catastrophes and other traumatic state of affairss experiences psychological effects in add-on to the emphasis of socialization itself. * Emotions and Culture

* Lutz and the Ifaluk found that emotions are culturally constructed. Emotions are a day-to-day working phenomenon.

Chapter 5: The Moral Dimension: The Relationship of Etiology to Morality in Cultural Beliefs and Practices Related to Health

* Cross Cultural etiologies of unwellness can run from those that seem impersonal. like pathogens or genetic sciences. to those that don’t like black magic or household inharmoniousness * In other words. at that place appear to be some causes for which no judgement can be made or fault assigned. and some that can be blamed on person or something. whether the individual who is ill. or another individual. or another societal establishment or group. Culture. as reflected in ethnomedical systems. involves socially produced definitions of what is normal vs. non normal. * When a individual experiences some unnatural phenomenon ( unwellness ) it could be thought of as: * Abnormal but morally all right non your mistake

* Abnormal but non morally ok your mistake or somebody’s mistake. Can ensue from stigma. * The moral connexion to unwellness is really much related to several sorts of factors: * Cultural constructs of the person and the grade to which persons are viewed as responsible for their status and their behavior * Most western societies are typically viewed as individual-centric * The grade to which external forces are viewed as responsible for their status and their behaviour

* In many civilizations. what you do and what happens to you may non arise with you but with other forces. These forces could be attributed to one or more Gods. to broader natural forces. to specific liquors. or to sorcery ad witchery. The moral beginning. so to talk. may in portion be related to persons but indirectly. * The sorts of societal divisions that exist in a peculiar society and what those societal divisions are held to intend – societal class/social stratification. gender. race/ethnicity. faith and other divisions. * Refers to a moral beginning that is society itself the manner in which society creates conditions that make some peole more vulnerable to disease than others or that forces some people into picks ( with wellness effects ) that others do non hold to do. * Physical Symbolism of the Disease

* If the visual aspect of the disease looks like the incarnation of a culturally defined malignity of some sort. people may respond to it irrespective of whether or non the victim is ab initio held to be at mistake. Alternatively. the visual aspect of the disease may be seem like grounds that the individual must be at mistake or is some manner selected for punshement. triggereing a sort of after-the-fact incrimination. * All of these can take to the stigmatisation of people with a peculiar unwellness or disease. * Stigma: the discrediting. societal rejection or staining of types of people who are viewed as blameworthy in one manner or another. It is the societal building of spoilt individuality for categories of people viewed as unwanted by some societal criterion. The exclusion and maltreatment caused by stigma may even be sanctioned by jurisprudence.

* Illness Behavior * Two sorts of ill functions: * A set of functions for people who are sick * A set of functions for the other people who interact with the ill individual. whether as a therapist or household member or even a schoolmate. * Illness behaviour is produced or socially constructed within the model of a civilization. It involves an full production. in which many participants act out their functions and in making so. work together to bring forth a consequence that comes out as the manner of a peculiar unwellness takes signifier. and the effects of that. in a given society. An of import consequence of this and other culturally molded interactions is to reproduce the civilization.