Ecological Approach

The Ecological approach will be the most useful approach to use when learning medical anthropology because it helps show how diseases can move throughout populations over  time. With the knowledge of how the diseases spreads through a population, you can make decisions on how to stop the spread and help save more lives or help the population to heal from the disease. You always hear on the news about how this disease, or this illness has shown up in a certain population or state, and then the government figures out a plan to use that will help to stop the spread of the disease so that less people become infected by it. The ecological approach can also help to prevent diseases from starting in the first place by limiting its contact with humans.

Disease and illness while similar, are separate things; in my opinion disease is a form of illness. I think of it in the way that illness covers a large field of medical issues, which includes diseases. What made me think this way is that people do not ask you if you feel diseased, they ask if you feel ill.

The culture that Miner described is the American culture, it was made pretty obvious when geographically he said it was between Canada and Mexico. Then how he described the rituals and social factors seemed to sound more and more familiar as he progressed to which it sounded like how like the American culture.

The ritual of teeth gouging and cleaning show how the mouth in the Nacirema society views the mouth as a connection to healthiness and if you have decay in you mouth that you are ill. Then the ritual of mutilating your body to try to conform to a less humanistic form of being shows that how your body looks is a direct correlation to your health as a person; if you look abnormal from the normal then you are thought to be less healthy.

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  1. Pamela says:

    The rituals you used show an amazingly similar idea to how society still thinks today, even if the article was describing American culture 50 years ago. The concept of your physical appearance being the signifier of whether or not you are healthy is a very important aspect of society today and displays the values we hold when it comes to our bodies and the treatments we are willing to undergo. There honestly wouldn’t be anything you could update about what those values 50 years ago represented and what they stand for today. Though the descriptions sounded a bit harsher than what we are familiar with today, the American culture has always had its extremities. Not only that, but the use of “magic powders” and “holy” men isn’t too foreign either. The glory of the American culture is the fact that we can incorporate all these different elements of health and its perception, whether it be through spiritual beings and practices, or technological and scientific approaches.

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