The notion and behaviors attributed by the social, cultural context have an inextricable
role in the processes of health and illness since the medical and healthcare system is cultural
systems consonant. Anthropologists conceive culture as an instrumental concept of health
interventions or research since cultural relativism shapes how individuals perceive the world and
our experiences. This implies that the role of culture in anthropological knowledge is not
exclusive as clinical practices' realities are analyzed through a transcultural perspective (Langdon
et al., p460). Undoubtedly, how our cultural beliefs or behave has a significant role in interaction
with patients, and this signifies that cultural concepts are the basis of medical anthropologists.
Therefore, the paper supports this ideology by revealing how life's cultural construction affects
the possibilities of health and illness.
Studies on transcultural perspectives affirm that medical anthropology is a cultural
system since human behavior, which is the determinant of health and illness, is culturally
imbued. Culture is learned and shared; therefore, behaviors, values, and beliefs in medical
perspectives result from the basic understanding of the cultural contexts (Langdon et al., p465).
The way culture perceives illnesses and health is the determiner of how people within this
cultural context react and behave concerning the issue. Culture is both subject and object since
individuals are socialized in ethnic patterns that are contemporary in their society and are built
by social relations (Panter-Brick, Catherine, and Eggerman, p238). Therefore, the socialization
perception induced by the individual's cultural context is responsible for the transmission of the
meaning of how and why to do a certain act. Culture impacts how people perceive acceptance of
preventive or health promotional measures (Langdon et al., p462). As culture is learned and
shared, how people know about health preventive measures will affect their illness reaction.
Therefore, this construction induced by culture perception determines the way people receive the
healing process. This shows that transcultural perceptions build people's values, beliefs, and
behaviors toward medical health and illnesses.
Cultural competence is fundamental in holism and holistic care since it determines the
course of patient-centered care measures. Culture builds people's concerns and thoughts about
nature and the course of treatment of their illnesses (Langdon et al., p463). Therefore, people
being guided by their cultural perceptions in understanding health measures requires cultural
competency to embark on a gross understanding of the measures that can be incorporated. How
patients view health and illness is culturally imbued as different cultures have different views of
diseases' causes and treatments (Langdon et al., p463). Researches reveal culture as an iceberg
where different features and perceptions are hidden underneath. They affirm that the influence of
culture on health is vast as it affects perceptions of health, approaches to health promotion, and
beliefs about the cause, illness, and deaths and types of treatment measures they prefer (Panter-
Brick, Catherine, and Eggerman, p236). As the determiner of the aforementioned approaches,
cultural diversity has been the cause of varying medical perceptions. To understand the whole
medical anthropology, one has to be culturally competent. This makes one conclude the limiting
cultural competencies to health and illness measures.
Culture determines beliefs, behaviors, and value of medical health and illnesses;
therefore, medical anthropology concerned with the experience, distribution, prevention,
treatment, and healing perceptions of health and illnesses show the significant role culture play
in this understandability. When people are guided by the perceptions induced by their cultural
values and beliefs, they have a correlating behavior to the action toward their perceptions.
People's perceptions are inherent to perceive what they learn and being shared; therefore, culture
is the ultimate determiner in health measures and illness perception. To embark on medical
anthropological measures, one has to be culturally competent to avert cultural bias in
determining health and illness measures.
Panter-Brick, Catherine, and Mark Eggerman. "The field of medical anthropology in Social
Science & Medicine." Social Science & Medicine 196 (2018): 233-239.
Langdon, Esther Jean, and Flávio Braune Wiik. "Anthropology, health, and illness: an
introduction to the concept of culture applied to the health sciences." Revista Latino-
Americana de enfermagem 18.3 (2010): 459-466.