The Cultural Context of Health, Illness, and Medicine

By Elisa J. Sobo; Martha O. Loustaunau | Go to book overview

Appendix A: Project and
Class Presentation Ideas

Here are some projects that readers can undertake to further learning or to provide grist for a presentation. The ideas also can provide material for reflecting upon during group discussions or personal perusals at appropriate junctures in the reading.

1. Identify a medical system that is foreign to you and learn all you can about it. Develop a presentation by which you can describe and explain the system to your classmates, systematically comparing and contrasting the system you have chosen to our own (biomedical) system of care, perhaps referring to ideas from Chapter 4.

2. Observe customers in the vitamin or nutritional supplement section of a supermarket or drugstore for two hours (it is a good idea to let the manager know that you are doing a class project). What walks of life did customers come from (and who seemed to be missing)? How did these people seem to handle their selections? What barriers or facilitators did they seem to encounter? How might price or advertising have come into play? What seems to attract people, and what kinds of people are attracted to what sorts of displays?

3. Survey two weeks’ worth of newspapers or the equivalent for contagious disease–related stories or stories on changes in health care policy, or technology. Examine these stories for bias. What patterns emerge? How do they relate to cultural understandings or social

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