I believe the culture of biomedicine to be a focus on medicine and health care from a biological perspective. So far in anthropology we have weighed the culture, politics, and economy of different people and its effect of health and medicine. Learning more about biology and the anatomy of health is very important. The think I like most about anatomy is that is understood universally. Culture does not affect the structure of the body or the physiology of body functions. The way we perceive or believe these functions to happen may differ but the actions and features of the body do not differ.
I struggle with identifying with dichotomies because a lot of the time I do not see things so simply divided and “clear-cut”. In terms of biology though we use dichotomies to classify organisms. There are eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. There are vertebrates and invertebrates. Although I understand the simplicity of this I believe that a clear distinction is not always possible. My differing views come from my parents’ views. My mom is very straightforward and something is right or wrong, black or white, or gay and straight, as other students have mentioned. Her views are a direct reflection of her parents are their tradition upbringing her. My Dad is very different and every situation she approaches there are multiple solutions and answers to the question. He sees how the lines can be blurred and can intertwine.
We talked about a very simple dichotomy of life and death in class and I wanted to focus on that. I found this one very interesting because it can be approached from the idea that someone has a heartbeat or none and is pronounced dead. A person can also be mentally or spiritually alive. Although they may be approaching physical death they are very much alive in spirit and mental capacity. The opposite to that is if someone is alive and healthy, but would be considered dead in spirit or mentally in a coma. My grandma for example is approaching eighty-three and to me she is more “alive” than some of my friends. She is so upbeat and full of joy and seems nowhere near death although she is aging.
I think out society is assuming aging means death and lack of life. The elderly seem to be pushed to the side and not recognized for the life they’ve lived and continue to live.