Health and Culture

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Use the four factors from Willis' (2004, as cited in Germov, 2009, p. 6) sociological imagination template to gain background information to analyse the question. • Historical factors
• Cultural factors
• Structural factors
• Critical factors

Be sure to specifically identify and describe issues for each factor in your analysis. (approx. 400 words; use one academic source – your textbook, Second Opinion).

It is commonly debated whether traditional health practices should be encouraged by the World Health Organisation. Wills’ Sociological Imagination template helps reflect on this topic. This template created by Willis (2004, as cited in Germov, 2005, p. 21) provides an opportunity for me to gain a better background analysis and fresh view of the world tradition health practices that are in place. The four factors involved in this template include historical, cultural, structural and critical. This template will help me question my views and assumptions to gain a greater insight to the answering this question.

Willis describes the four factors of the sociological imagination as interrelated. Willis’ use of the historical factors enables me to connect how past historical influencing are effecting the present problems. I would ague that traditional health practices has carved a strong niche within the provisions of health care. However, I can’t disagree that tradition medicines can be historically seen as the oldest form of health care. It makes me realise that it is, no wonder it has become such an embedded part of todays cultural tradition especially in the poorer countries.

Willis also comments that cultural influences also effect the present. From what I understand traditional medicine is the knowledge and practice that is based on theories and belief that are implement throughout cultural history. I would say understanding cultural factors and beliefs associated with traditional medicine practices is important this is because I believe it will give me good grounding on the belief systems that influence this type of healthcare.

Structural factors is something that I would describe as distinguishing one society from another. However, I think this can not be confused with culture, language, or ethnicity, but rather the social structure of the society as a whole. Willis describes this very similar to my idea, in saying that it is how a social groups structure and shape their lives. My views in this, is that every ethnic culture has its own relationship to the environment, thus cultural values have become an integrated part of social structure. I know that from reflecting on my own life that medical knowledge has changed and developed over time and that theoretical knowledge of medicine, has taken over from the once experimental knowledge. However, I would ague that poorer countries structure are not westernised like my own and therefore traditional medicine practices can be the only way that some social groups can survive. Willis also allows a critical factor approach thinking, that is based on what can be improved on the present circumstances. This critical approach thinking to traditional medicine helps me to understand a stance that prompts possible better social positioning. This factor allows me to have a more in-depth knowledge on the political struggles operating within health care and what can be done to improve it.

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Step 3:
Next, identify and cite one of the readings, articles or videos from the eModule and describe how it has helped you to gain a deeper understanding of this topic. Remember to relate the information from this resource back to the factors from the sociological imagination template. (approx. 400 words; use two academic sources – one from your textbook + one from the eModule)

Having discussed factors that define and ground traditional health practices in relation to the sociological imagination template, my attention will now turn to discuss two...
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