W1 Reflection: Biological Approach

The biological approach is really useful because it examines the evolution of humanity and how humans have adapted to stressors in the environment around them. I think this is really important because it can show how some kind of change or stressor in the environment can either result in humans adapting to it or it causing an illness or disease. As stated in the lecture illness and healing are normal human experiences influenced by biology and culture. Disease on the other hand is an aspect of human environment influenced by behavior and socio-political factors. The difference between illness an disease is quite clear to me. Illness is rather normal and can be overcome whereas disease can be brought on by the environment in which a person resides. In my opinion, if someone is ill and does not work to take care of themselves and overcome the illness it can lead to disease.

When reading Miner’s article about the Nacirema culture, it was quite clear to me that he was talking about Western people. He states that they are a North American group of people which helps narrow it down. He also describes their rituals as well as their development market economy which leads me to believe he is talking about Western people but just labeling them Nacirema people.

One ritual Miner talks about is the box that is built into the wall. He states that the box contains charms and potions which are vital to these people’s well-being. I thing this represents what medicine is to us today. Many people have drugs that they cannot live without and the human body simply cannot function without proper nutrition.

Another ritual Miner talks about is the mouth-rite ritual which consists of these people putting hog hairs and some kind of powder in their mouth in oder to take care of it. This is a daily ritual for them and I believe it simply describes what we do when we brush our teeth with toothpaste and a toothbrush. It just shows how important oral hygiene is that is must be a daily practice.

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