This week we will turn our attention to Chapter 10 specifically, I as a Health Communication and Public Health professor am drawn to the section of the chapter on diverse health care belief systems.
In the beginning of this section the author cites Aghadiuno who say, “Culture and the meaning we give to illness and health are closely bound. Illness is synonymous with sickness, disease, affliction, disability; while health equates with haleness, robustness, vigour, well-being and strength.”
This is very true in any part of the world that you live in. When we see people in activities of health like running, walking, exercising we believe them to be healthy. Conversely when we see people in the hospital or who are bed-ridden we view them to be unhealthy.
This section reminds us that each culture presents with a unique set of beliefs and perceptions about health and illness which in turn impact how illness is recognized, to what it is attributed, how the culture interprets health and/or illness and even how the person is treated in the health care system.
These differences are unique around the world but they also can be different among co-cultures living in the United States.
For this week’s discussion read over the different ways that cultures view health and illness. You will find this on pages 344 – 350 in Communicating between Cultures (8th edition) ***if you are using the 9th edition the page numbers might be different.
- Supernatural/magico/religious traditions
- Holistic traditions
- Scientific/biomedical traditions
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION PROMPT
As you read the different underlying premises, causes of illness, and treatment of illness of the three traditions what are your thoughts?
What most resonates with you?
Which of these traditions do you experience the most cognitive dissonance (Links to an external site.) about?
Which ones of the traditions have been most central in your life, your families and your communities?
For you personally, do you feel and/or believe these are separate traditions or do you find that you move between them as you think about health and illness?