I believe that the biological approach is very important because it is the basis of our knowledge about ourselves and other living things in the physical sense. I think it is very important for us to understand how the world around us works along with how are own bodies are put together. Because most living mammals have a similar set of organs. I also think it is important to know where we came from and the reason for our heredity with genetics.

The difference between disease and illness is pretty clear to me, where disease is the cause of health problems and illness is the physical result of that disease. So basically it is a cause and effect relationship between disease and illness.

Miner is talking about our culture here in the US, this is very evident from the very beginning when he is giving the location of this culture, in North America between Canada and Mexico. I think that it is very interesting to take a step back and actually analyze our behavior in this way. Because to all of us going to the dentist is normal, but reading it the way Miner wrote it makes you think what kind of person would keep going back for that kind of punishment. But we don’t think of it like that because that is not our cultures perception. We think of it as a necessity to keep our teeth healthy, not a sadistic way to inflict pain on ourselves. One of the other activities that Miner takes a shot at is how we brush our teeth everyday. In our society it is a ritual as he puts it that we learn at a very young age, which is true but seems odd because we see it as a beneficial act that prevents our teeth from decaying. It is also funny how he twists our preference for privacy when we go to the bathroom into something like a paranoid psychological issue.

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  1. phill612 says:

    Hi Josh,
    I chose the ethnomedical perspective of health as my topic but your position on the biological approach is very accurate. It makes sense for us to understand the world in relation to ourselves. It is how we rationalize our existence and explain difficult phenomena to express like heredity. I agree that the article was a bit obscure and took me aback. When I realized that Miner was discussing the ritual and obsession of brushing our teeth and the torturous nature of going to the dentist I took a pause to reflect. I understand his perspective of this practices but I never had thought of them this way or even questioned why we do such things. His description of the dentist especially was very graphic and made me cringe with his verbiage. Miner’s description was much worse than the actual procedures themselves but when I was child I always feared going. I don’t have any insight in changing these practices because I feel many people similar to me don’t question the routine. It is ingrained in our culture and changing practices that are almost mindless are difficult to change. In fact, many of us would like to believe that in addition to vanity it is beneficial to our health two aspects that are very important in our culture.

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