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Copy of Cultures and their syndromes

A conceptualization of chapter three in 'Culture and Health: A Critical Perspective Towards Global Health' for Spring 2013 PSY 460 course at UHH.
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Cross-Cultural Psychology

on 14 February 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Cultures and their syndromes

Cultures and their syndromes Analysing health through culture 'Culture-bound disorders' like Bebainan, Inarun, Quajimaillituq, and Tabacazo usually refer to issues found in Asia, Africa, Arctic regions, or South America.
Looking at it from a different culture's outlook, Europeans and North Americans may have some of their own 'culture-bound syndromes'. The textbook presents Anorexia nervosa, Type A behavior, Obesity, Agoraphobia, Kleptomania, and Exhibitionism; have you ever thought of these conditions as culture-bound? Where do culture-bound syndromes come from? Cultural forms and functions of disorder The value of the culture-bound approach is that we pay close attention to the context in which the suffering happens in the culture. Hughes (1985) believes we should use this approach when we look at all types of suffering, no matter the geographical or cultural roots.
Culture can influence suffering on four levels (figure 3.1, page 88). The causal level is what is responsible for initiating the suffering, such as infection or stress. The level of experience explains how the people around us and the physical environment influences suffering. The expression of suffering is the third level and influences the content of suffering and the way suffering is displayed. The fourth level focuses is on how the consequences of suffering are culturally influenced. How do each of the levels help you understand a culture's influence on suffering? Santa Claus: more than just good fun Is the idea of Santa Claus a social function? Does the western belief of Santa Claus provide a fun, feel good function? What does this myth communicate? One perspective is that Santa may have a social regulatory function for children growing up. Santa may encourage children to behave according to their parent's rules and respect their elders in order to be rewarded with gifts. What do you think about the western myth of Santa? According to Miranda & Fraser (2002), 35% of the population in the USA will be from a cultural minority group; this may test a wide variety of assumptions.
That being said, a large number 'culture bound syndromes' may present themselves.
Miranda & Fraser (2002, p. 424) state "Myth sets the stage for the ritual to address the illness"- what do you think about this statement? Culture bound or concept bound? The term 'culture bound' describes an illness/disorder that one is not familiar with from their own culture but occurs in clusters significant enough to be determined a condition in another culture. Are there any conditions you think of that are culture-bound? What universal conditions can you identify?
There is a section in the DSM-IV to diagnose 'culture-bound syndromes' and Andary et al. (2003) offer that the APA claims DSM categories are universal diagnoses. Do you think this is true? Why or why not? Koro You will find more information about Koro elsewhere in this module but also think about how Koro is considered a fatal condition where people feel their sexual organs are shrinking, mostly happening in southern China and south-east Asia. Looking at koro from a western worldview, it may be thought of as a form of dissociative disorder, somatoform disorder, panic disorder, or psychosis.
Cheng's (1994) research of koro suggests it occurs mostly in single, poorly educated adolescent males who lack sexual knowledge and strongly believe in koro. Latah In addition to the website and lecture notes, know that Latah is found in Indonesia and Malaysia; latah is an exaggerated startle response to a surprising event which may be shown through dropping or throwing an object and crying out rude words. The individual illustrating latah may mimic words or movements of someone who was close when the startle began.
Latah is most common in middle-age women of lower social status but does occur in both men and women; the condition could become a life-long issue. Take a look of this youtube clip that shows an example of latah: Are eating disorders culture-bound syndromes? 'Form' is the manner in which an issue is presented and the 'function' is what the incident can accomplish in the cultural context is it presented in. For example, parents practicing self-starvation may serve the function of making sure the children are fed in cultures that do not have a surplus of food.
The suppression-facilitation model implies that cultures aid in establishing certain behaviors in children through reward and stop development of other behaviors through failure to reward or punishing them. For example, a parent (in the western culture) may reward their child for taking out the trash each week by giving them five dollars . Can you think of other examples of this model?
The adult distress threshold model purports that problem behaviors presented that parents are less tolerant of will be discouraged. What is an example of this model?
Weisz et al. (1987) compared children in the USA and Thailand. The Thai culture found peacefulness, non-aggression, and being polite as important; parents in the Thai culture were intolerant of disrespectful and aggressive behavior. Parents in the American culture allowed aggressiveness, independence, and assertiveness; children's behavior reflected these values by exhibiting aggression, under-controlled behaviors, and being impulsive. Here are a few bullet-points about eating disorders for you to consider. Whether it derives from the media, mannequins, or western society's expectations in general, a woman's "ideal" bodily appearance has been ingrained in western culture.
Other cultures did not experience anorexia nervosa but when they become part of the western society, eating disorders become more prevalent among them. Perhaps because of recent globalization and industrialization, some non-western countries now recognize anorexia nervosa. Do you think anorexia nervosa is culture-bound? Why or why not?
Through complex and arguably uncertain data, Keel and Klump (2003) have concluded that bulimia nervosa is a culture-bound syndrome but anorexia nervosa is not a culture-bound disorder. *Disclaimer*: I found this video and it is labeled as an example of latah but I cannot verify this because I do not speak the language; take a look and see what you think. Do you spot anything that looks like it may or may not be an example of latah?
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