Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (620,000)
UTSC (30,000)
Anthropology (1,000)
Peter (20)

ANTC61H3 Lecture Notes - Franz Boas, Biomedicine, Hermeneutic Circle

Course Code

This preview shows page 1. to view the full 5 pages of the document.
Making Meaning of Illness Lecture 2 May 18th 2011
refer to lecture notes as well
Culture, Explanatory Models and Narrative
Cultural aspects of illness and disease…” I am so grateful for my daughters cancer”- direct quote and say one thing
your grateful for why? Her and her daughter has been estranged and when she heard from her daughter in 10 years..
and from moms perspective is healing perspecitive… got opportunity to help daughter and patched themselves up…
healing vs cure… at the time of the sotry… cure was not certain but she was so impacted by healing…healing was not
individual.. healing was familial family…. Not just the girl with cancer… can fit into rebirth literature because mother
Is re-newed…. Narratives is that it can be repeated, passed on and that way it re-creates its meanings
Look at the process of meaning making in this lecture…
On culture: perspect of culture in this course…. Ideational system ( ideas, symbols, concepts, rules, meanings)…
meanings and rules that govern how people live…assumptions on which behavior/life is based.. there are rules of how
we think of ourselves
Culture- distorting lens that we forget that we are wearing and taking them for granted. Assume that we are seeing
reality directly but not really.. Features of this lens.. assume that everyone else sees the world the same way we do…
and this is where it gets interesting… we try to learn about prescription of own lens.. how is my perception different
from anothers..
Culture is : not homogenous it is changeable and develops ; the underlying basis for having a conversation…. This
concept helps us to avoid being ethnocentric( meaning: ) culture is underlying basis for conversation or
disagreeing… ( do not connect)
Culture encoding is often hidden, implicit in what people say and do… some culture is more dominant hence power is
Notion of culture was strongly promoted like Franz Boas to counter racism…. Boas conducted multi generation studies
…immigrant children did better if had enough time to socialize… introduced culture torace…culture is what race is
not. ( no real foundation as concept) but has a social reality and there it has some kind of impact. Culture is learnt
Culture definition is hermeneutic (meaning: biblical interpretation started in 1800s and to come to some agreement to
how to interpret bible what is involved in interpreting…. * hermeneutic circle upon..its about a dialogical
relationship because we talk to people… define and read upon it. )
Culture is not same as behavior but how we interpret behavior
Methods we use to study culture is not same as natural sciences. Culture is not an object to be analyzed.. culture
emerges in dialogical conversation
We try to learn to communicate in a better way. A whole lot of cultural conditioning is not explicit… ( more implicit)..
as an observer (anthropologist- we have to bring it out)
Disease: a biological or biochemical malfunction ( bacteria..virus)
Illness- impaired functioning as perceived by the patient within a given cultural context
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Only page 1 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Disease –describes the perspective of medical specialist and patient condition is framed as a technical issue
Illness refers to how a person perceived and responds to symptoms and how disease is shaped into experience ( how are
bodily changes organized, given meaning, how does it get is it interpreted)
Illness model shapes ones experience of disease (might be individual or more social… a fairly elaborated idea ( this
symptom this illness and this is what we have to do ) or can be individual here in the west… a whole a lot of
information altering particular viewpoints..
Illness model – not everyone that gets a disease will not respond the same way. May not help individual help resolve
disease but help morally situate it. Can help decide if your fault (eating too much fatty foods or give ancestor food) or
someone elses.
IE; Breast cancer: for a doctor its a tumor in the breast… can be well classified in stages and each stage can have
ideal treatment and prognosis. What is breast cancer for a patient? .. its a lump… it might be dread or fearful emotion,
surgery, death, chemotherapy…changed bodily terrain or self image.. hair lost, breast removed.--> change in change is
social role or stigma ( this is all the illness side of a illness diagnosis)
Disease model.. is path physiological model..
Disease/Illness = Epistemological Frameworks ( How do we know * get meaning)
Different frameworks in which we can construct model…
any model that tells a culturally meaningful story of a illness= illness model
Biomedicine is one such cultural system of healing…”- when it operates with a disease model…it becomes a illness
model..disease is the illness model in biomedicine… symptoms as signs of disease
Disease and Illness came up ( formal and informal) via biomedicine.. looked at traditional medicine where did not have
biological understanding.. but they had beliefs and practices. Biomedicine treat disease and illness model fixes illness..
The spirit catchs you falls: sacrifice pigs + shamans... does a lot for illness not disease ( from doctors POV)
Toronto: how you are feeling about illness and your family…. Not useful for diagnosis… no one really cares how you
feel about it. However going to a doctor and not feelings like you were heard usually sends people to alternative forms
of medicine ( being heard helps person)
Disease and Illness : dichotomies… the disease/illness dichotomy has a affinity for other dichotomies that are
prominent features of western knowledge practices…. Anthropologists aim to be aware of when such dichotomies are
invoked.. and to recognize the work that they do and to use them reflexively.. ( nature vs culture; mind vs body …)
what is dichotomies?
Illness (mind more about feelings and usual traditional medicine…ritual healing.. managing peoples perception,
generating belief that people are well… placebo effect sortcancer can sometimes remit…) and disease ( body.. what
you can see ina lab, identifying the change bacteria virus )
Curing and Healing
Curing: treatment of a specific biological condition/ removal of disease
Healing: treatment of illness, addressing beliefs, emotions, social relations ( whole person)
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version