How Can Anthropology Help Solve Social Problems

How Can Anthropology Help Solve Social Problems-80
Interventions will not aim at informing individuals, but at improving cultures.They may concern the change of basic cultural and social structures such as gender roles.

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In an article recently published in the Great Lakes College Association/Global Liberal Arts Alliance Consortium for Teaching and Learning, Assistant Professor Karen Powell Sears addressed a question: How can students’ demonstrate and share their learning about social problems beyond the classroom setting?

In my Sex and Gender in Society course, students were asked to identify a social issue related to gender, and create a digital audio-visual campaign aimed at promoting greater social awareness of this issue among a target audience.

While the models recognize the importance of `social norms' in shaping behavior, choices and attitudes, the main focus remains on the individual who can, if properly educated, overcome social and cultural pressure and act rationally.

Assuming that people have autonomous choices in deciding what they do and why, health education renders individuals responsible for their illnesses while attracting attention away from structural, political and economic causes, such as unsafe working conditions and environmental hazards.

In recent years health education practitioners have been looking for ways to extend the social psychological analysis of human behavior with approaches that focus on the cultural and social context of human behavior.

In this article the value of the `thick description' approach, borrowed from anthropology, is explored by examples from the Caribbean and South Africa.

Students created elements or “pages” to their digital tool kit at assigned dates throughout the semester, adding topic information to the social media platform of their choice.

In order to prepare students for this project they received instruction about 1) the available technology and utilities that can be used to support varied project objectives and designs, and 2) methods of effective peer review/feedback expectations and strategies for critiquing the digital tool-kits.

Developed specifically to help public health specialists convince people to act more rationally—to use preventive services, obey doctor' orders, or use medical services `appropriately'—such theories evaluate health beliefs for their proximity to empirically correct knowledge concerning the seriousness of particular disorders or the efficacy of particular behaviors or therapies.

The wealth of meanings associated with illness in local cultures is thus reduced to a set of propositions held by individual actors, which are in turn evaluated in relation to biomedical knowledge.

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Comments How Can Anthropology Help Solve Social Problems

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