M1 Essay Assignment
Essay: Idioms of Distress
Explore the Cultural Anthropology/Health and Healing Wiki.
Anthropologists describe folk illnesses or culture-bound syndromes as “idioms of distress,” because local illness categories and symptoms communicate particular kinds of suffering, the meaning of which varies from culture to culture. After reading the Anthro Wiki description of folk illness and skimming the CBS articles in the supplementary resources folder (or doing some independent research online), please select a culture-bound syndrome and outline its common manifestations. How does this disorder compare/contrast with illnesses you encounter in your society in terms of causes, symptoms, treatment, etc.?
One possible choice is exploring susto, a fright sickness common in Central and South America, and comparing it with our Western categories of anxiety disorder or PTSD, which have similar manifestations. You may need to do some brief research in the definitions and history of PTSD to be able to compare these conditions. This essay should be at least 1000 words and should be free of grammar and spelling errors. All sources used, whether print or web, including textbooks, should be referenced clearly, both in text and at the end of your essay in APA style.
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