Ecological Approach

   I think the Ecological Approach to health will be most beneficial towards my study of health because it takes into account all aspects that I find to be most influential in the current healthcare system today. I have always preferred taking a preventative approach towards health and medicine and this approach seems to support this perspective the most.As I understand, the distinction between disease and illness is a matter of subjectivity vs. objectivity. The definition of disease lies more on the objective side because this is the actual outward manifestation of a symptoms and signs of a clinically diagnosed disease. The definition of illness leaned more towards the subjective individuals perception of what they believe is going on with their own self. This distinction between disease and illness was not apparent to me at first. I had never thought that there was a difference between these two concepts. I thought to be ill meant you had some sort of disease, but I guess I never believed illness to be defined as a subjective term.
   The culture that Miner is referring to is the American culture. The first little hint that led me to believe this was the reference to cutting down a cherry tree which made me think of George Washington, but I wasn’t completely convinced at this point. However, as soon as Miner started describing the annual ritual about caring for the mouth I realized he was describing the annual visits to the dentist that are highly encouraged in the US.
    As previously mentioned, the ritual described by Miner about the Nacirema’s fascination with “holy-mouth-men” describes the American idea that an annual dentist appointment is essential to maintain your health. Also, it represents just how vain we are as a culture because a lot of time people will judge other people based on their physical appearance such as bad teeth. This leads me another ritual of the Naciremas in which it is a rite of men to “scrape and lacerate the surface of their face with a sharp instrument,” daily. This ritual refers to the fact that men are expected to shave their facial hair daily. This belief ties into what Americans view as healthy. Lastly, the ritual that describes a fascination with breast size is describing the American idea that as a woman, the more similar your body looks to the woman we see on popular magazine covers, the more successful you will be in life. This also describes some factors which have lead to an explosion of eating disorders that have been seen in throughout America.

1 thought on “Ecological Approach

  1. As I mentioned before in my blog that all the approaches presented in the lecture are very important to determine the health of the people. I wanted to also pick the Ecological Approach because it is very important. Learning about the interactions between people and their cultures is a key in understanding why they get sick and how to treat them. I picked the biological approach instead of the ecological approach because biology plays a direct role in human health, it also plays a direct role in their sickness too; no matter how any country is developed, sometime it is hard to cure someone that is sick with a genetic disorder, however, this patient’s sickness could be stabilized or managed with a proper health care. In this example, the patient was able to feel better based on the care he is getting just by being in a developed country, which is part of the ecological approach; and his genetic disorder is a key factor is his sickness, which is part of the biological approach.

    The rituals provided in the article could be updated or compared to our current health care. The “holy-mouth-men” could be updated to a dentist; although there is some pain involved in dental care, but I am sure it is not that painful or scary as described in the article. Another ritual is “scraping the faces” which could be updated to a barber or hair salon and also it is less painful. The third ritual is that women always trying to change their “breast size” from small to large and vice versa; this ritual could be updated by going to a plastic surgeon who has proper care and education (so many years of studying!) that will insure the patient’s health and care.

    Yasmin Elgamel

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