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ANTH 3280
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Reading Chapters 1418Chapter 14 Cultural ConsonanceIntro we understand the importance of culture in the risk of a variety of disorders researchers are looking to figure out a way to conceptualize culture in a way that is useful in the research process a concept of culture that leads to the unambiguous measurement of some relevant dimension of culture so that the influence of culture on health can actually be gauged relative to other potential risk factors cognitive anthro breakthroughs theoreticalmethodological of understanding of basic features of culture theory of cultural consonance links the collective representations that make up the culture of a group w the practices of individuals who enact those representations the individual differences in the implementation of these shared representations link culture as an aggregate social phenomenon to risk at the level of the individualOrientations in the Study of CultureHealth Outcomes Stirling Country Project LeightonAssociates social disorganization hypothesis communities could be ordered along a continuum most integratedmost disintegrateddisorganized indicators of degree of disintegration level of povertyfam stability confusion of cultural values social changemodernizationsocial disorganizationconfusionpsychological distress communities could be assigned a position on the continuum of social disintegration by an ethnographer working in that community then epidemiologic survey methods could be used to comparecontrast rates of psych distress in these communities studies of migrationmodernizationblood pressure1 migration mean blood pressure increases in urban centre as ppl move from traditional societies to urban centres2 modernization persons in more modernized communities have higher mean blood pressuresoutcomes due to the conflict in valuesbeliefs bw traditionmodernity or bw a homehost communitythe stresses of those conflicts these studiesbaseline in research on culturehealth however role that culture plays in the process is unclear psychosocial stress theories useful in providing categories of variables stressorsresistance resourcesexplained individual differences in blood pressurepsych distress stressors factors that increased risk of distress chronic or acute resistance resources factors that helped individuals withstand effects of stressorssocial or psychologicalcontemporary stress theory stressors can be moderated by instrumentalemotional support to get from a broad view of cultural influences to specific operational indicators of stressorssupports we have to link the intensive descriptive methods ethnography to extensive quantitative methods for hypothesis testing ethnographic methods participationobservation of daily life and interviewing informants to understand culture2 issues 1 the study of collective meanings 2 the relationship of culture to the individual are fundamental in culture theoryBackground to a Theory of Cultural Consonance assumption1 culture is learnedshared distributed 2 locus of culture is within individual human beingsin the social groups made up of human beings culture the learned shared knowledge that one must possess to function adequately in a social groupknowledgebelief how is knowledge distributed in a social groupwidely shared weakly sharedhighly contests concentrated within one or more social subgroups widely shared w specific points of connotation this distribution of knowledge means 1 individuals command differing degrees of cultural knowledge 2 if an individual doesnt have an elaborate knowledge of particular cultural domain there is a sense of the collectivewhat WE thinkdo cultural model of a domainthe elements of that domainthe relationships among these elementsdescribes widely assumedunderstood processes win the domainhow that domain links w othershighly generalizablecan be tailoredapplied to many specific instances to be a truly cultural model this modular knowledge must be shared shared understanding of what are arbitrary models of the world that gives those models causal potential assessment ofsharingmajor problem until cultural consensus model cultural consensus analysis agreement among a set of informants is evaluated by 1 collecting their responses to a set of questions that sample knowledge of a domain 2 statistical thought experiment is conducted an aggregate model of the culturally best responses is proposedthe degree to which each informants response match that aggregate model is evaluatedhigh degree of correspondenceconsensus regarding the knowledgewe can infer that each individual is using the samesimilar modelCultural ConsensusCultural Consonance important theoreticalmethodological advances provided by cultural consensus model 1 sharing can be unambiguously evaluated 2 consensus can be quantifiedlow consensus vs high consensus cultural domains can be indentified 3 intercultural diversity can be examined in 2 ways p184 4 the culturally best set of responses is estimated in the analysis represent the most likely answers to those questions offered by any culturally competent member of that societyit is possible to define the confidence in the reliabilitygeneralizability of the responses theory of cultural modelsculturalconsensus model provide a means for resolving the paradox of culture as a term the referent of which is both an aggregatean individual cultural models are located in the heads of informants but have certain aggregateproperties in that such models are distributed across minds critique of cog approached in cultural theory they deal w how things are thought to benot w actual practicebehaviour cultural consonance the degree to which individuals in their own beliefsbehaviours approximate the shared expectations encoded in cultural models for some people under some circumstances there will be a gap in between their knowledge of what is culturally protypical and what they themselves are doing personenvironment fit French Rogers Cobb describes the consistency bw an individuals attitudesthe values of a particular social settingCultural ConsonanceHealth Outcomes initially studies focused on lifestylesocial supportlifestyle material goodsrelated practices ie leisure time individuals seek not to exceed local standards of lifestyle but rather to attain what is collectively regarded as a good lifeBrazilian Studies examined blood pressure depressive symptoms body composition food intake cultural model of social support friendsfam inner circle less intimate relationships outer circle higher cultural consonancelower blood pressure fewer reported symptoms of depression higher caloric intake lower body fatbody mass indexUS African American Study blood pressure separation bw kinnonkin supporters all respondents with higher cultural consonance in lifestylelower blood pressure this association was stronger for ppl who also had high cultural consonance in social supportin both studies there were broadly shared cultural models of lifestylesocial support results in research published to date 1 using more precise methods we have confirmed the cultural models of lifestylesocial support 2 we have replicated after 10 yrs the association of cultural consonance in both domainsarterial blood pressure 3 we have observed that there are shared cultural models in the domains of national identity fam life fooddeveloped measures of cultural consonance in each domain 4 we have observed associations bw cultural consonance in these domains w blood pressurevarious measures of psych distress 5 crosssectionally cultural consonanceassociated w blood pressurepsych distress controlling for other variables ie nutrient intake body mass index socioeconomic status measures of stresscoping
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