978-0-88316-531-7 / 9780883165317

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About the book:

Well-being is a human concern in all societies - in part because humans, like other life forms, are susceptible to illness. Perceptions of health and illness differ from individual to individual and from culture to culture. Differences and similarities in such perceptions depend on a multitude of complex social, cultural, and environmental factors. People involved in health professions in the multicultural United States are confronted with the challenge of trying to understand the implications of such differences for the provision of quality health services to their clients. The behavioral and social sciences provide insight into the complexities associated with these variations. A number of concepts and concerns central to the social sciences are emphasized in the articles and comments in this book, among them the concepts of culture, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, and race. Medical science in any society does not exist in a vacuum. Its form is a reflection of the cultural values and beliefs of different peoples. This socio-cultural component of medicine has become increasingly detached from its technical component in Western societies. In recent years there has been an effort to restore the connection. The selections in this book represent the diversity of these efforts and provide points of departure for forays into the extensive literature. --- from book's back cover

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