Anthropology Paper on Cultural Anthropology
Cultural anthropology refers to the study of cultural influences in the lives of human beings. It involves the analysis, interpretation, and explanation of cultural and social similarities and differences of people all over the world (Haviland n.p). This paper discusses the cultural life of the people of North Dakota and the roles played by an anthropologist. North Dakota is known to produce impressive and important individuals in the history of the United States of America, including eight presidents. It also stands out as a hub for industry, trade, and transport.
The state has diverse cultures with beautiful cities but a huge portion of it is mainly rural. This means that most of the occupants are mainly farmers and pastorals. They are also conservative and prefer to live their lives in peace outside the big cities. The residents of the North Dakota have a passion for outdoor activities and sports. They never have to go to the gym to exercise as every activity is an exercise by itself. They have access to fresh foodstuffs including vegetables and milk which they can get directly from their own or nearby farms.
The residents are also known for their slow lane living, they take things slowly and this helps reduce their stress levels. People in areas where everybody is in a hurry to reach a place or accomplish something are associated with stressful lives. North Dakota also has a high rate of church-going among its residents making most of them strong believers in the powers of the almighty. These people also enjoy one of the best climates in the world with no droughts or rising oceans. The rainfall is adequate to cater for the needs of the people and their farms. A large percentage of the land is under agriculture, followed by forested land. Developed land comes third in the order.
It is important to mention all these attributes of the North Dakota culture because all of them affect the people who live in this State. Study of cultural anthropology looks at more than just the village communities within North Dakota but also looks at the influence of the modern cities (Haviland n.p). It calls for generalization of the human behavior pattern such as their love for outdoor activities and sports to achieve the description of their cultural and social phenomena.
When people engage in more proactive activities such as the outdoor activities, they tend to be more fit and healthy. Anthropology contributes such as activities as the reason for the biological characteristics of the residents as compared to others. North Dakota has social organizations that are aimed at improving human welfare all over the State.
The residents of North Dakota have organized their land in a way that helps promote their daily activities such as farming. Their land use has, in turn, influenced their behaviors and ideas proving once more that cultural practices have an impact on the lives of human beings. Their system of behavior involves peaceful co-existence, regular churchgoing, and pastoral activities. The vast rural portion signifies that the State has a huge number of its population living in areas with fresh air with no population. Such people enjoy healthy foods, clean water, and healthy environment. An anthropologist spends most of the time living among people and studying their cultures and practices. The anthropologist has various roles to play in ensuring that the cultural practices improve the lives of the people.
My Role as Medical Anthropologist
As a phlebotomist, it is my responsibility to draw on the cultural anthropology to understanding the practices that might influence the well-being and health of the people living in Grand Forks, ND. It is my responsibility to establish the distribution of diseases, healing process and the cultural significance in solving health issues (Butt 2). My nursing background requires that I put emphasis on how the health of individuals and their social formation are affected by their relationship with their environment. I must understand how these people perceive issues of blood transfusion because there are some cultures that are against blood transfusion. The anthropological approach helps in understanding people’s behavior and how they act the way they do.
It is important to understand the behaviors of people and the reasons why they behave in a certain manner. This makes a strong foundation for a medical anthropologist to change the behavior of such people. As a medical anthropologist, I am authorized to change people’s behavior when these behaviors are line with the health standards. The significance of social norms in shaping people’s choices, attitudes and behavior cannot be underrated, but it is important to help people to overcome cultural and social pressure and act in more rational ways.
The choices that people make on what they do and what they do not do are responsible for most of their sicknesses. In the local area, my role is to help people stay away from cultural practices that might lead to illnesses such as environmental hazards and unsafe workings conditions, and motivate them to adopt healthy habits that make them strong and fit. The laboratory techniques adopted must be in line with the beliefs of the people to encourage them to come forward for any test
Their beliefs of the people of North Dakota about health behavior, cause, prevention, and cure remain the same and this means that at the national level, efforts to have people change their behaviors from unhealthy ones to those that promote the well-being face the same challenges (Butt 4). Health behaviors of the people of North Dakota are influenced by their attitude towards health promotion, their construction of gender and access to things such as health services, water, education, and food.
People agree to seek healthcare service depending on how relevant they perceive the service. It is my responsibility to help them see the relevance of the healthcare service provided. Health education must be relevant to the culture (Butt 12). These people believe that religion plays a huge part in their lives; health education provided should never go contrary to this belief. It is also important to be aware of the Cultural Revolution so as to be able to cater for the needs of both the adults and the young ones. Coming from Ohio would affect my perception of the culture of North Dakota but these beliefs would not interfere without my assessment of the necessary behavioral changes needed to improve the lives of the people of North Dakota.
The cases of drug peddling and drug use are examples of behaviors that must be changed so that the residents could have healthier lives. My responsibilities are narrowed down to changing people’s perception of illness and health, changing their beliefs about causes of illnesses (Butt 24). They should also be made to stop any form of stigmatization and recommend the best cultural practices that they should adopt or hold on to.
Butt, Leslie. “The suffering stranger: Medical anthropology and international morality.” Medical Anthropology 21.1 (2002): 1-24.
Haviland, William A. Cultural anthropology. Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2002.