Community Health

I’d say the intersection of anthropology that most interests me would have to be community health. I like the idea of being close and intertwined with an aspect or area of the community in which I feel comfortable and close to, and in which I feel as though I have created a relationship. Anthropologists are constantly creating relationships and becoming acquainted with the people that they are working with, and need to have an understanding of backgrounds, and where each and every person is coming from. For me, working in community health would be great because no matter where you are in the world, every single person has such a diverse background, but on some level we are all connected and the capability to understand and find that connected is always available to us.

To me, when I think of community health, I tend to float toward the idea of a counselor, or a group therapist. Anthropologists are sensitive to differences in culture and beliefs, and can see the way that each person may have a different route to take. That, in my mind, lines up greatly with much of the other social sciences because it takes the truth that we are all so diverse as people, but we are still able to connect and find common ground and learn to help each other in ways that we didn’t necessarily think to be possible before. To me that’s one of the great things about anthropology, is that it truly invites us to open our minds to a way of thinking or a way of life that may be different from our own, and that way of life may be lead by someone who lives in your very own neighborhood, or shops at the same grocery store as you. It’s all about perception, and how and can we decide that we are capable to learn from each other despite our differences?

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  1. Ashley Lathrop says:

    I think of anthropologists as a group that can be the mediator in all aspects of society. We’re able to understand both cultural and societal expectations and that really enables us to create understanding and learning.

    Anthropologists and their involvement in community health would bring more of a real life aspect to the community and to medical professionals and less knowledge straight out of a textbook. They’re the balance that helps educate citizens of the community on how to maintain health and healing in the society. In our society, vaccines and preventative care are obviously very important when preventing things like the flu or whooping cough. Education in the community on these health issues is key, especially to those in the community that might not feel that vaccines are necessary. Giving people education gives them the power to make decisions based on fact and they can then incorporate that with their own beliefs and come to a decision that can help them and their community.

    Anthropologists are able to help doctors and public health officials create programs and tools to train their patients in a way that the patients will be most likely to understand and appreciate the help. Anthropologists can also help patients in understanding their doctors and a way that they can talk to their doctors to find out what they need to do.

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