Week 3: Activity Post Prompt

Title: Write the name of a “culture-bound syndrome” (CBS) you want to research further and the name of the culture it is associated with (e.g. “Anorexia in the United States”) – choose something different from the ones discussed in the lecture this week.

 Body: (300 words)

  • Find and summarize a scholarly, peer-reviewed article that discusses this CBS.
  • Discuss the biological, cultural and individual dimensions of the illness.
  • Explain how it is being evaluated/treated in various medical models/sectors of that culture.

Comment: (200 words)

  • Choose a post that identified a different CBS in their title
  • Define the term “culture” in your own words (based on class materials) and explain why you think this illness should or shouldn’t be regarded as a CBS – what are the advantages/disadvantages?
  • How might this condition be explained in a different ethnomedical system or in a different culture?

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Desirae Jemison says:

    Hi everyone,
    I did my weekly activity post on Anorexia, but I’m not sure if Anorexia in the United States was one of the topics discussed in lecture. Was it? I know in the video I watch that wasn’t one of the culture bound syndromes discussed, but maybe it was in one of the lectures.

  2. Connor DeMars says:

    Culture is defined as the way of life in a certain group of people, such as behavior and beliefs passed on from one generation to the next. Therefore, I do believe that anorexia is a culture bound syndrome. In the United States, people are extremely concerned with their self-image and will do anything to fit in. Like you said, the idea of thinness for women and dieting are major factors in this anorexia condition. They will continue to diet until they are thin enough. The advantages to this syndrome would be that more people are thinner, but this could be very dangerous if the person becomes too thin. Some starve themselves in order to reach the desired look, but they don’t stop to consider the negative health factors that come with it. In a different ethnomedical system or culture, it would definitely be looked at differently. In the United States, skinny is considered to be attractive, which is displayed through the media, but in other countries, the more meat you have on you, the healthier you are. Some people in other countries would look at someone from the United States and think that they are extremely ill because of how skinny they are, and we might look at someone from another country who we think is chubby, but to them they are very healthy. The different perceptions each culture has can determine the overall health of an individual.

  3. Josh Williams says:

    I believe that culture is culmination of all of the different traits, values, morals and habits a person develops throughout their lifetime, based upon their environment, heritage, family and personal experiences as they grown into an adult. I do think that obesity truly is a culture bound illness created from the westernized culture, not only specific to the United States but also other westernized cultures as well such as Australia while other cultures such as certain technologically un-advanced tribes find being overweight to be a positive trait that signifies wealth and sustainability. I think that obesity however, should not be considered a culture bound illness because it has severe detrimental side effects on the body no matter what culture or background a person has. The advantages of labeling this a culture bound illness is that it can make some Americans begin to understand that the way we live can be very unhealthy in excess and may teach some to moderate their activities more. The disadvantages of this being labeled a culture bound illness is that some people not of the western culture may think that it is not possible for them to experience obesity until it is too late. This concept would be difficult to explain in developing countries because it is hard to explain that eating too much regularly can be a negative thing, but the best way would be to explain it in a sense of lack of physical activity in combination can cause serious health issues that would reduce one’s quality of life.

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