How Can Anthropology Help Solve Social Problems

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.

It blames the victims (Crawford, 1977; Minkler, 1989; Pitts, 1996).

Inspired by this critique, Green , 1993) pleaded for a combination of theories from multiple disciplines, to better comprehend of health behavior.

(Good, 1995)In this article, we will use examples from our fieldwork in Dominica and South Africa to explore whether an anthropological approach can contribute to a health promotion that takes into account the dynamic role of culture and social structure, and avoids victim blaming.

Although this article uses examples from the developing world, its message extends to post-industrial settings.intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, community and public policy factors, in understanding and affecting health behaviors (Green and Kreuter, 1991).Health education has also been criticized for its ethnocentrism and its self-evident acceptance of the superiority of western (scientific) culture.The digital toolkit assignment objective was to inform community members about the social relevance of the problem, and recommend practical and institutional solutions.Students worked in assigned groups to 1) identify, define and describe the gender issue of concern; 2) define the audience and objective of the public awareness campaign; 3) develop concepts and learning tools that inform the target audience about the social problem in the form of a short documentary; 4) create an original artistic element that illustrates the problem; 5) develop solutions for the social problem that are informed by current research and best practice evidence; and 6) integrate these learning tools into a digital platform that is available to the Denison community.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.In recent years health education has been criticized for its strong emphasis on individual cognitive processes, and its limited attention to the embeddedness of human behavior in cultural contexts and social structures (Mc Leroy , 1995; Landrine, 1995).According to these critics, the current theoretical models assume that health behavior results from separate, isolated behavioral determinants, each of which explains different aspects of individual behavior.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.


Comments How Can Anthropology Help Solve Social Problems

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    Feb 12, 2015. as a means to own a country or people who need help instead of. World War as poverty, social problem, unemployment and other. These theories can be correlated with anthropological understanding to critique development. paper also explains the need of anthropological understanding to solve.…

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    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. may help solve the problem of ethnocentrism in broadly scoped interventions.…

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