Biological Approach

I am a human biology major so the biological approach will be the best way for me to learn and study about health because it is the approach that I have been doing most of my college career. Environment, genetics and individual choice are the three main focuses from this approach and I believe those to be very essential when trying to understand someones health status. I hope to use all the other approaches, but this one will give me the most insight.

Until this reflection I thought that disease and illness were the exact same definition. However, looking more closely I finally figured out the difference. Disease is the actual abnormal condition and illness is the human response to it. A disease would be the infection and the illness would be pain, confusion, distress, etc.

The culture that Miner is talking about in the Nacirema article is the North American culture. I first picked up on this when they were talking about the market economy and the economic pursuits that peoples time was devoted to.

Two of the rituals that I found in the article was 1) The ritual of the charms and medical potions in the box on the wall and 2) The rituals of the mouth. Both of these rituals relate back to the health of the the Nacirema culture. The charms and potions that are in the box help keep the people alive and protect them from getting sick. They are dependent on the medicine man who gives them these charms and they believe that without these their will be health complications. Mouth rituals are also important to their health. Nacirema culture value this because they believe it is a “supernatural influence on all social relationships”. Without this ritual they believe that their teeth will fall out and gums will bleed.

The way that Miner describes all the rituals is quite interesting and brilliant.

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Megan Bergeron says:

    I believe that both of these rituals could be updated in order to represent current health values and ideologies. Today, the medicine man is considered a doctor. Patients are more skeptical of doctors than they were of medicine men, but not much. Patients are very trusting of doctors and are usually willing to try anything that they suggest. The charms and potions are drugs. Today, drugs are also kept in a box (cabinet) on the wall and are used to keep people healthy. This shows that the ideologies are today are not much different with respect to medical personnel and drugs.
    The culture of Nacirema had a variety of rituals having to do with the mouth as we do today. However, we are not as superstitious as the people. I think this is because we are better educated today than they were 50 years ago. Today, we know oral health is very important. If oral health is not kept up and monitored it can lead to numerous other health issues. In today’s society we are also very concerned with how teeth look. We visit dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, etc in order to make our teeth and mouth as beautiful as possible.

Leave a Reply