Rosalie Aroni; Week 2 MED1011; Health, Knowledge and Society
CHESS-C: What is culture, what differentiates one culture from another, how does one culture evolve over time, how does one culture affect another, how do sub cultures come into being?
Culture is a way of life from one generation to another; material culture is based on physical objects that a society produces to reflects interests and preoccupations; non-material culture is ideas, beliefs, religion, knowledge: norms (what is proper behaviour), values (what is good or bad) that can influence people's behaviour.
Transfer of culture from one generation to another is socialisation. Transfer requires internalisation of norms and values and becomes part of the individual's worldview. It is a means of reproducing the society. Socialisation is a lifelong two way process. There are various models: moulded like clay or blank slate is normative or functionalist approach, interactive approach in which all participants change is an interactionist approach, socialisation reproduces an unequal society and is conflict approach because it is effective in having people accept their position in social heirachies as natural and appropriate
Successful socialisation involves internalisation of norms and values, we come to believe that the societal or group rules of behaviour come from within the individual themselves.
Professional socialisation occurs into the world of medicine. All societies have a cultural system for explaining sickness and death, cultural beliefs and practices that are learned and shared about this can be called medical system. Medical systems have three basic components- theory of aetiology (what causes disease), system of diagnosis and techniques of appropriate therapy
Agents of socialisation are family, school, peer group, media, religious teachers, other role models. There is primary, secondary, anticipatory socialisation and resocialisation. Secondary socialisation or resocialisation is often due to a life change such as mental institution, army boot camp, impending death, unexpected life transitions such as loss of spouse or job.
Culture is manifested in norms, values, roles (sick role), role conflict, significant others. George Herbert Mead suggested 3 stage socialisation process of children- prepatory stage (meaningless initiation), play stage (evaluate themselves from the point of view of 'significant others'), game stage (assume roles of others, acquire sense of generalised other which is internalised norms of social group).
Professional socialism is shift from lay culture to culture of medicine/medical professionals, compare to conversion experience (change of imagery or change in percieving the world)
- Initial innocence, recognition of incongruity, 'psyching out', role stimulation, provisional internalisation, stable internalisation
Medical gaze is how doctors typically view their patients as an object of medical scrutiny
Race is a group that is socially defined on physical criteria, ethnic group is socially defined on socio-cultural criteria, minority group has low status and little power in society irrespective of numerical status, racism is doctine of superiority or inferiority based on these doctrines. Overt racism is individual predjudice and resulting obvious discriminatory behaviour (individual psychological trait), institutional racism is routinised practices that systematically differentiate and disadvantage specific social groups without the agent necessarily holding a specific belief about inferiority of disadvantaged group.
Primordialists say men are divided and reasons for division are deeply rooted in history and experience, must be taken into account; circumstantialists look to specific and immediate circumstances to explain why groups maintain their identity, why ethnicity becomes basis for mobilisation in some groups and not others.