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anorexia nervosa
a culture-bound syndrome present in North American and European cultures, characterized by a person not eating to meet beauty standards.
authoritative knowledge
authority derived from perceived legitimacy, dependent on culture.
biocultural approach
the assumption that culture is informed by physical and sociocultural elements.
health care systems rooted in European and North American scientific knowledge.
Blue Zones
communities around the world with a high concentration of people near or over the age of 100.
causal attributions
a psychological concept used to study regular cultural behavior and how deviation from that behavior might be explained.
clinical observations
an ethnographic method resulting in a straightforward, clinical study of a medical situation.
two or more health conditions that often occur together.
critical medical anthropology (CMA)
a theory that highlights a culture’s inequalities, including inequalities in health care.
critical theories of health
an applied theory aimed at pointing out issues within health care systems and changing them for the better.
cultural concepts of distress (CCD)
a psychological term used to describe the way a culture experiences and expresses distress.
cultural systems model
a theory that that analyzes how systems within a particular culture, including health care systems, affect one’s worldview and actions.
a biological agent that negatively affects health.
the changes in gene expression that take place during a person’s lifetime, often through environmental exposure.
a culture’s traditional knowledge and treatments for the management of health and illness.
evolutionary medicine
a method that uses evolutionary biology and culture to better understand human health.
a state of complete well-being.
health decision-making analysis
a study of the decisions that go into a person’s health choices.
idioms of distress
indirect ways that members of a culture show distress.
a person’s experience of ill health, as defined by their culture.
illness narrative interviews
an ethnographic method used to collect information about an informant’s illness experience in their own words.
a term encompassing disease, illness, and sickness.
medical ecology
a multidisciplinary theory studying the effects of environment on lifestyle and health.
medical pluralism
the use of both ethnomedicine and biomedicine.
medical statistics
statistics regarding treatments for medical illnesses that inform an anthropologist’s study, as well as medical policy and health choices.
participant observation
a methodology in which the anthropologist makes first-person observations while participating in a culture.
placebo effect
the effect in which belief in a treatment’s efficacy creates a positive health outcome.
political economic medical anthropology (PEMA)
a theory that highlights a culture’s inequalities, including inequality in health care.
political economy
the connection of economics and politics and how they affect wealth and inequality.
psychobiological dynamic of health
the measurable effect of human psychology on human biology.
sick roles
the social expectation of a person suffering from a sickness.
the cause of a person’s ill health that signifies to others how to treat that person socially.
social health
an acknowledgement that one’s social interactions and standing are an important aspect of overall health.
structural violence
violence caused by political and social systems that prevent groups from taking care of themselves in multiple ways.
a cultural response to stress and trauma in Latinx communities.
symbolic approach
a theory focusing on how a culture’s symbols affect social and health outcomes.
symbolic interaction approach to health
and approach that focuses on the interaction between patient and caregiver(s).
the social intersection of comorbidities in health outcomes.
traditional ecological knowledge (TEK)
traditional knowledge of one’s environment applied to the treatment of maladies.
voodoo death
death brought on by psychosomatic belief in cultural and environmental effects.
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