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Lecture 3

ANTHROP 3HI3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Blood Sugar, Reductionism, Medicalization

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Lecture 3
Thursday January 14th 2016
Part 2: Illness Experience
Defining Illness Narratives
Provides a holistic understanding of human suffering.
Tell us about how life problems are created, controlled, and made
meaningful to the particular individual and what they are suffering from
Narratives are not statistic; individuals order and re-order their experiences
over time.
oMeanings change and details of their accountant change
Example: narrative you share with physician in a clinical
setting will change from the narrative we share with our
families and friends.
Gives a sense of empowerment, agency, and to cast off stigmas.
Links the sufferers past and social context.
Reveals problems with treatment and identifies challenges in everyday life.
Is an important source of information
Personal, Social, and Emotional (KNOW THESE CONCEPTS)
The Personal Meanings of Illness
Illness is a subjective experience.
oExample: two individuals may both receive diagnosis of diabetes
however; how they experience the diagnosis will change in the two
Refers to how an individual perceives, experiences, and copes with a malady.
Conceptual model: The condition of an individual has (diabetes, a bad heart),
catches (a cold, flu), or is (diabetic, a blind person).
oExample: Alice
Vision is declining
Losing mobility and depending on family for care
oPersonal meaning that apply to the individual
The Social Meanings of Illness
Overwhelming sense of loss and poor well-being.
oExample: Alice was still able to interact with her family as much as she
She lost mobility therefore this was her biggest lost
Lost independence
Unable to perform everyday functions or normal bodily processes.
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Requires an increasing reliance on others for care.
Emotion as Meaning
Grieving for a loss of a body part, physical function, body and self-image, and
way of life.
Individual emotional responses vary.
Health professionals and healers play an important role in helping patients
maintain positive coping skills.
oAssisting them in going through the different stages
oAssisting them in different methods
They cluster together
oMay have multiple social determinants
For example: your income and social status may interact with
education and health services.
How culture influences health
WHO Study of the Social Determinants of Health
“...the unequal distribution of power, income, goods and services....the
consequences of unfairness in the...circumstances of people’s lives...and their
changes of leading a flourishing life [are the primary causes of poor health].”
Film: Worlds Apart – Alicia Mercado’s Story (KNOW HER NARRATIVE)
May be on midterm or final
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