ecological approach

At first I was drawn to the biological approach because I know genetics to be a key component in the health of an individual.  But I believe that individual choice is just as significant, and I think that the ecological approach gives more attention to the social, economic and political factors that can influence that that area of health.  Granted, I would like to know more about the details of each approach and I hope to have a better understanding of each in the coming weeks, I think the issues I am most familiar with would be studied using the ecological approach.

Disease is an outward manifestation of an altered physical function or infection.  Illness is a perception of an alternation in health as informed by a broader social and cultural context.  I think the distinction is pretty clear, but i can imagine it gets pretty murky in a clinical setting.  In the past decade we’ve seen a pretty big wave of ADD.  This could be considered an illness because we perceive some young people to be unable to focus and unproductive versus a bigger social expectation of their abilities.  We could see it as a disease if their brain function differs from others.

Nacirema is American spelled backwards.  I have had to read this article about a zillion times in high school and college and I knew it before I clicked the link.  The “Charm Box” is a medicine cabinet in the bathroom. I always liked how the “most powerful” of its contents were prescribed by “medicine men” who wrote in an ancient language that only “herbalists” could understand.  Both of whom must be “rewarded with substantial gifts”.  This refers to prescription medications written by doctors in their own chicken scratch that only pharmacists can decipher.  The font below the charm-box is a sink.  The water processing he describes in the text is the cycle of purification.

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. holechri says:

    Holy cow do I feel dumb now for that Nacerima thing! It is so obvious once pointed out, but that is a pretty cool easter egg. i picked a different topic for the approaches, but I understand why ecological makes sense. Well, actually, they all make sense in their own right. However, I can see is why you first went towards biological, as the human body’s biological composition and genetic makeup can build a stronger immune system in different people. Ecological makes sense as there needs to be a strong health in all forms of a persons life, whether it be economic or on a biological level. I didn’t think the charm-box was a sink, so that is interesting. I thought of it as a medicine cabinet where all our tools are kept for our daily at home rituals. But for the herbalists and substantial gifts part makes perfect sense to me. I like how you used ADD or any other socially diagnosed issue, I myself have been thinking of something similar to that because of the lack of physical ailments and symptoms. Anyways I hope you enjoy the course! I myself and quite excited to learn a bit more of anthropology, especially as this is my last class!

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