OBJECTIVES: This article is part of an ethnographic study that aims to describe and understand health as a phenomenon of the Sami culture. STUDY DESIGN: The article is based on literature concerning the northern environment and the Sami culture, which is analysed from the point of view of health culture. RESULTS: From the point of view of health culture, life in the northern regions requires adaptation to certain special features of the climate and the natural environment. Nature is also a versatile source of health care, healing and traditions. Particularly in the late 1990's, the northern environment and the Sami lifestyle were profoundly affected by changes in the sources of income caused by modernisation and the adaptation of traditional Sami livelihoods to governmental regulations. The current Sami values and beliefs are multilayered factors affecting health culture. The social growth milieu of Sami children as a source of health culture has changed over the generations. The key elements affecting the growth milieu have changed over time, due to the attitude of the government towards the Sami culture and the consequent changes and actions of society.
Rich descriptions of Anishinaabe medical knowledge and the cultural meanings associated with illness are available in the anthropological literature, especially in the writings of A.I. Hallowell. Most of this work is based on fieldwork carried out prior to 1940 and was often motivated by a desire to reconstruct the pre-contact situation. Since that time, there have been numerous changes affecting health status and health care. This paper examines lay medical knowledge in a contemporary Canadian Anishinaabeg community, with particular attention to change and continuity in the way people explain and respond to the occurrence of illness.
A description is presented of the medical beliefs of the totemic people on the Northwest American coast. The principles of Shamanic therapy are analysed. The consequences for therapeutic views by medical schools are discussed.
The Sami people have historically been exposed to severe assimilation processes. The objective of this study was to explore elderly Samis' experiences of health. A total of 19 elderly Sami individuals in Norway were interviewed.This article is a dialogical narrative analysis of the life stories of 3 Sami women. The life stories are perceived as narratives of health and resistance. Postcolonial theory provides a framework for understanding the impact of historical and socioeconomic factors in people's lives and health. Narratives of resistance demonstrate that people are not passive victims of the legacy of colonialism. Resistance is not a passive state but an active process, as is health. Resistance is a resource that should be appreciated by health services, both at a systemic level--for example, through partnership with Indigenous elderly in the planning and shaping of services--and in individual encounters between patients and healthcare providers.
The Swedish abortion legislation of 1975 gave women the right to make a decision about abortion before the end of the 18th week of pregnancy. The number of abortions is rising in Sweden as a chosen method of birth control. The attitudes of students toward abortion were studied in 1986-1987. A questionnaire containing items on how sex education is taught, the anatomy and physiology of reproduction, contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases, and legal abortion was answered by 421 high school students. Results pertaining to the students' attitudes toward abortion are reported. Two thirds of the students believed that the decision about an abortion should be made by the man and woman together. Nearly all respondents believed that abortion should not be considered a method of birth control. These results may be considered a guide for interventions to prevent the need for abortion. One fourth of all pregnancies in Sweden terminate in abortion. The students in the present study thought of abortion as a solution. Authors studying samples with different cultural backgrounds have reported similar attitudes.
The current studies examined if cultural and self-construal differences in self-enhancement extended to defensive responses to health threats.
Responses to fictitious medical diagnoses were compared between Asian-Americans and European-North Americans in experiment 1 and between Canadians primed with an interdependent versus an independent self-construal in experiment 3. In experiment 2, the responses of Chinese and Canadians who were either heavy or light soft drink consumers were assessed after reading an article linking soft drink consumption to insulin resistance.
The primary-dependent measure reflected participants' defensiveness about threatening versus nonthreatening health information.
In experiment 1, all participants responded more defensively to an unfavourable than a favourable diagnosis; however, Asian-Americans responded less defensively than did European-North Americans. In experiment 2, all high soft drink consumers were less convinced by the threatening information than were low soft drink consumers; however, among high consumers, Chinese changed their self-reported consumption levels less than did European-Canadians. In experiment 3, interdependence-primed participants responded less defensively to an unfavourable diagnosis than did independence-primed participants.
Defensive reactions to threatening health information were found consistently; however, self-enhancement was more pronounced in individuals with Western cultural backgrounds or independent self-construals.
By the year 2000, approximately one in every five Canadians will represent an ethnic minority. Even today, Canada is home to over a hundred different linguistic and cultural groups. Yet between these Canadians and the health care system there exists a large cultural gap. At the crux of the matter is the lack of recognition by health care professionals of the cultural differences and related health beliefs of various groups. A further impediment is the lack of formal educational programs, theory and research in multicultural nursing care in Canada.