Culture, Health and Wellbeing: Exploring the Differences and Similarities Across Indian and Western Cultures 2500-EN-PS-EAc-29
The course is designed to introduce the students to the concepts of culture and health and how culture influences health and wellbeing. The students will understand importance of developing cultural sensitivity and relativity in perceiving health and wellbeing. The various indicators of health as life expectancy, infant mortality will be explained. The aim is to focus on the cultural construction of health by comparing the current
issues and new directions in health and wellbeing across cultures. The Indian model of health which is holistic in its approach will be compared
with the Western bio-medical models of health. The students will also learn about the Indian model of Ayurveda and how culture plays a role in
the restoration, maintenance and promotion of health. There are contextual differences in the conceptualization of stress. Cultural differences exist in the incidence, causes, consequences of stress and the ways to cope with stress. A comparative perspective of the Indian techniques as yoga and meditation will be done with the Western approach as cognitive restricting and expressive art therapy in coping with stress. This course will enable the students to reflect upon the perceptions of abnormality, mental illness and health across cultures. During the course experiential exercises will help the students to learn about the theory of Karma Yoga and its use in therapy along with transcendental meditation. The influence of socio-cultural environment in health outcomes will be discussed along with the challenges in health research and promotion across cultures.
Western systems focus on psychopathology and early development while Indian viewpoints focus upon the psycho-social development in life that influences health. The course will aims to share the need to integrate the two mind sets to gain a full understanding of the causal factors or predictors of health across cultures as well as its maintenance and promotion. Empirical evidence will be shared for as many topics as possible, and also the limitations of the topics/ practices/ approaches and evidence will be discussed in the classes.
About three hours will be devoted on each of the topics. This will give enough time to cover each topic in detail, elaborate using comparative case studies using power-point presentations, have active discussions and also organize reflective activity or experiential exercises on each topic.
Type of course
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