The Cultural Context of Health, Illness, and Medicine, 2nd Edition
America is truly a world civilization, home to billions of immigrants from all around the globe. We came first by land, then sea, and now air as well, bringing with us a diversity of cultural traditions. What are the ramifications of this for the way we deliver health care?
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A "one size fits all" approach to health care doesn't work well, especially for America's extremely diverse population. This book provides a lively and accessible discussion of how and why a more flexible and culturally sensitive system of health care can—and must be—achieved.
Notable anthropologist George Foster defined the first edition as "a very readable introductory text dealing with the sociocultural aspects of health," adding: "[T]he authors do a commendable job… . I have profited from reading The Cultural Context of Health, Illness, and Medicine". With engaging examples, minimal jargon, and updated scholarship, the second edition of The Cultural Context of Health, Illness, and Medicine offers a comprehensive guide to the practice of culturally sensitive health care. Readers will see America's biomedically dominated health care system in a new light as the book reveals the changes wrought by increasing cultural diversity, technological innovation, and developments in care delivery.
Written by a sociologist and an anthropologist with direct, hands-on experience in the health services, the volume tracks culture's influence on and relationship to health, illness, and health-care delivery via an examination of social structure, medical systems, and the need for—and challenges to—culturally sensitive care. Cultural differences are situated against social-class differences and related health inequities, as well as different needs and challenges throughout the life course. In prescribing caring that is more holistic, culturally sensitive, and cost-effective, the work promotes awareness of pressing issues for health care professionals—and the people they serve.
- More than 30 percent new material updates the 1997 edition, reflecting new scholarship and addressing emerging needs
- Multiple real-life examples and case studies illustrate and explain concepts
- Discussion questions follow each chapter and an appendix with project suggestions is provided
- A bibliography offers suggestions for further reading
- Describes the special approaches anthropologists and sociologists take to health, clearly and concisely illustrating the main concepts used in the two fields
- Clearly demonstrates the influence of culture on caring and curing
- Takes social structure into account, countermanding the myth that all problems are cultural
- Calls for and describes a more flexible system of health care expressed in holistic ways, explaining how such approaches can meet modern medical needs
- Author Info
“Sobo and Loustaunau have done a splendid job in providing a concise, engaging, informative, and very readable introduction to the fields of medical anthropology and medical sociology. A successful synthesis of socio-behavioral science, health services, and public health knowledge which advances the field and should help to improve the quality of care and health outcomes experienced by our increasingly diverse population. This is a valuable text that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend for use in undergraduate courses; medical, nursing, and public health schools; and other health professions training programs that are interested in transformative education that makes a difference.”
"This is a comprehensive book focused on relevant factors that influence health, illness, and well-being from multi-discipline perspectives. It is a unique book to provide health leaders and consumers refreshing new ways to know and understand cultures. It is an essential book to serve cultures in creative and effective ways. The authors provide new and diverse cultural insights about health, illness and wellness that have been woefully missing until the advent of transcultural nursing."
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