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UD / Sociology / ANTH 106 / What are the factors that influence an individual's health?

What are the factors that influence an individual's health?

What are the factors that influence an individual's health?


School: University of Delaware
Department: Sociology
Course: Anthropology of Health
Professor: Melissa melby
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Anthropoply, health, medical, Lifetime Wellness, week 1, UD, Udel, ANTH106, and BAHN106
Cost: Free
Name: ANTH106, Week 1 Notes
Description: Week 1 notes in Anthropology of Health Class. These notes cover the basics of medical anthropology and basic definitions relating to this course.
Uploaded: 09/05/2016
6 Pages 342 Views 12 Unlocks

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ANTH106, Week 1 NotesIf you want to learn more check out christine smith tulane

September 1

We also discuss several other topics like What are considered as marketable skills?

What is health? What are levels of analysis?

•Anthro. Key points from Aug. 30

        -4 fields, med. Anth. cross-cutting all of them

        -culture and cultural relativism conceptsIf you want to learn more check out What are the roots and complex numbers?

        -biocultural approaches

•Factors influencing health

•4 fields

        -archaeology                        -physical/biological anthro.If you want to learn more check out What is capable of growth at temperatures greater than 80 Celsius?

        -linguistic anthropology        -social/cultural anthro.

•Culture -patterns that are produced, learned and shared by members of a social group

        -generally adaptive like behaviour, thoughts, language and customsIf you want to learn more check out swarnava mukhopadhyay

Proximate: How?If you want to learn more check out What is the definition of neurophilosophy?

                        Indiv. Physiology                                individual behaviour

                        →fat storage                                →eating

                        →blood glucose                                →drinking

                        →dopamine                                →addiction

Biological                                                                                Cultural

                           Evolutionary proc.                                Societal Issues

                        →natural selection                        →social determinants

                        To increase fitness                        →stress



                     How                                  Ultimate: Why?


•Finding the proximate causes of diseases is often the endpoint of biomedical analysis

•My def. Of health: someone who is at their maximum potential of all bodily functions and

Who has no illnesses.

•Actual health def. -a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not

Merely the absence of disease

•Is health a cultural universal? Yes and no. Every culture has a different idea of healthy but everyone defines it as healthy or unhealthy.

•Physical, mental and social-well-being do not always align

        -more hw = more stress = less physical well-being

        -think of what you do to be attractive to others that is unhealthy ex: tanning beds, plastic


•Which is the most objective? Disease, illness or sickness

•disease -physiological alteration that impairs your function

•illness -subjective experience of symptoms and suffering

•sickness -disease/illness and also ‘sick role

•disease states → impairs function


        -infectious disease

        -genetic disease

        -nutritional disease

        -chronic disease

        -psychological/behavioral disorders


        -subj. Exp. of symptoms and suffering

        -what patients bring to the doctor (but is gone when you’re @ the doctors and back

        When you’re gone)

        -motivates changes in behavior to alleviate symptoms

        -”I don’t feel well, i’m going to go to the doctors”


        -can = disease or illness

        -sociologically, “sick role:

        -when injured, take off work and be allowed to rest

•A patient goes to a healer with an illness

•The healer diagnoses a disease

•The patient and society decide on the sickness

                Miner 1956

•Ethnography         ↑

        -what the author did with the “Nacirema’s”

        -Nacirema →American

•Ethnocentric -belief that his own culture is superior

•Cultural Relativism -involving other cultures and understanding them on their own terms

Without passing judgments.

•Miner didn’t answer why these people were doing these things and he over-exaggerated



•employs cultural anth. Analysis of the Nacirema culture

•Utilized ethnography

                ↪the scientific description of customs of individual peoples and cultures.

❋•5 Approaches to Medical Anthropology

  1. Biological -evolution, genetic variation, human vulnerability and resilience to disease
  2. Ecological -humans and their environments, homeostasis
  3. Ethnomedical -medical systems, relations between beliefs, health and healing, impact

Of social forces on health

  1. Critical (CMA) -understanding impact of macro-level forces on local health and healing

Systems, critique of biomedicine

  1. Applied -clinical or public health settings, patient-doctor interaction, policy level analysis,

Consultation with health agencies

❋•med. Anth. does not assume that ind. Are at the best place to understand things or chose their own personal behavior.. Also, they do not bel;ieve that the environment is fixed and humans always change those

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