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Culture Influences an Individual’s Perception of Illness and Health

In: English and Literature

Submitted By aiss2
Words 1621
Pages 7
Assessment 2: “Culture influences an individual’s perception of illness and health.” 1000 wrds

There are many definitions for 'culture' with the anthropologist Sir Edward Tylor (1871) cited by Ravalico (2006) defining it to mean 'that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a member of society.' Culture also influences how one perceives their health and the idea of what it means to have ‘good health.’ One community group whose culture strongly impacts on individual’s perception of illness and health is the Australian Aboriginal community. Aboriginal Australians have a shorter life expectancy than others (ABS 2008, Shaouli et al 2011) which threatens Aboriginal culture as ‘elders’are the transmitters of Aboriginal culture. Aboriginal people experience worse health and more disease with the latter being three times more than that for the total Australian population (NATSIS 2008 cited by ABS 2008). Culture is one of the many social determinants of health and affects health (Carson, Dunbar, Chenhall and Bailie, 2007). Some indigenous people are fatalistic about their health (Thackrah and Scott 2011) although most can access medical help when needed providing they trusted their medical practitioners (ABS 2008, DATSIPD 2009). Other obstacles include language, lack of public transport and telecommunications (Shaouli et al 2011). Therefore, the impact of culture on individuals’ health is crucial to investigate as Aboriginal culture impacts strongly on individuals’ health in the areas of remedies, causation and readiness to seek help when needed. However, before, one explores these issues they must first define what ‘health’ means to indigenous people from a cultural perspective. |
Firstly, Aboriginal culture impacts strongly on individuals’ perception of health. According to...

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