Preview
Preview

The Body in Western and Non Western Cultures Essay

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 964 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

How do people view the body? The answer varies from location, religion and culture. How western cultures view the body and how the body is treated (our body and others) are different from how non western cultures view and treat bodies. We can see the differences in the western and non western bodies in such works as Anne Fadiman’s account of a Hmong child in America and in articles like Genital Surgeries: Gendering Bodies. Along with the many differences between western and non western thoughts there are also several similarities. Especially when it comes to metaphors of the body.
The generalized western opinion of the body is that it is akin to an object. Like a car the body is composed of several diverse aspects. From a medical perception the body is healthy when all of the parts that compose it are running effortlessly and efficiently. If one part is not up to current standards then it has the ability to be dismantled and rearranged so that it works. From a social perspective the body is only healthy when it looks healthy. A healthy body for western society is slim or athletic, tan, tall and straight, clear of blemishes, clean and well maintained. The medical body and the social body are not always equivalent in western culture.
For example: Athletes appear to be very healthy by society standards. They are normally tall and athletic and give off the appearance of health. However, some athletes use anabolic steroids to help boost their performance. While they look healthy and act healthy these drugs have devastating effects inside of their body such as liver damage and formation of devastating cancers. In this example while the body was healthy by society standards it was not by medical standards.
In non western culture...


... middle of paper ...


...re are many ways to view the body than the one we were brought up to believe. However, we can also see from western metaphors and Hmong metaphors that a sick body is recognized by most people as being sick. We are also able to see with genital surgery that although society standards are different for every culture each culture uses surgery as a way to enhance the body and make it more pleasing to look at. Even with drastically different views of the medical body western and non western cultures still have very similar thoughts on how a body should look socially and go through similar rituals to obtain that body.



Works Cited

Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down. 1st . New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997. Print.
"Genital Surgeries: Gendering Bodies ." n. page. Print.
Lupton, Deborah. Medicine as Culture. 2nd. London: SAGE, 2003. Print.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Binge Eating in Non-Western Cultures Essays - Literature regarding eating disorders in non-Western cultures in general is scarce. Very few studies address disordered eating in cultures outside of the Western and Westernized world. This could be because of the perceived lack of eating disorders in non-industrialized countries or even because there is an overwhelming amount of concern over eating disorders in Western society. However, there have been several studies done on binge eating and dietary restraint in non-western citizens and in non-Caucasian women in the United States....   [tags: binge eating, eating disorders, non-western, cultu] 1032 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Differences in Relationships Between Western and Non-Western Cultures Essay - Differences in Relationships Between Western and Non-Western Cultures Most of the research on interpersonal attraction has been carried out in Western societies, especially the United Kingdom and United States. This limitation is very important as it argues that the behaviour and communication need to be understood within the context in which they occur, and this context considerably differs from one culture to another. Therefore we can readily accept that there are large differences in interpersonal relationships between cultures....   [tags: Papers] 891 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Maori Body in Paul Gauguin´s Western Eves Essay - ... Through the paintings produced while living in Martinique, it is clear that Gauguin broke away from the Impressionistic style and began to use a bolder, flat brush stroke, defining and contouring the elements, as well as broad areas of contrasting colors. Upon leaving Martinique, and briefly returning to Paris, Gauguin decided to work in Pont-Aven, Brittany. Martinique had heightened his interest in folk cultures, and by European standards, Brittany was “savage,” and “primitive.” It was different from Peru and Martinique, however, they all had a rich oral tradition based on pagan and Christian beliefs....   [tags: feminie, gentleness, passivity, sexuality, purist] 1381 words
(3.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Globalization in the Beauty Industry: The Western Influence on the Perception of Beauty - My mother didn’t let me wear makeup. No matter how many times I wrote “blue eye shadow” on my Christmas wish list, no matter how many “pretty pleases” I could say before I needed to take a gasp of air, no matter how much I begged and pleaded, she just wouldn’t budge on the issue. Granted I was eight at the time and I probably would have used that eye shadow once and then immediately forgot about it, but it still hurt knowing I wouldn’t be able to look like the beautiful models in my Mother’s latest issue of InStyle....   [tags: makeup, physical ideals, skincare, culture]
:: 6 Works Cited
1863 words
(5.3 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay about Nonverbal Communication and Body Language - Actions speak louder than words. When having a conversation with someone, your body language speaks louder than your words. Men’s brains and women’s brains work differently, which causes them to have slightly different forms of interaction. Men have different proxemics, kinesics, and paralanguage than women do. Understanding these differences allow us to communicate effectively. All individuals give and receive nonverbal cues during conversation. Most individuals, when unsure whether to consider the speaker’s verbal or nonverbal cues, will pick nonverbal cues....   [tags: Actions, Conversations, Communication]
:: 4 Works Cited
1922 words
(5.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Eating Dirt and Other Non- Food Items Essay - ... In most societies around the world eating feces is abnormal due to the health concerns behind it. Piazza (2002: 235) explains a variety of picas that mentally handicapped girls are consuming such as: car keys, rocks, sticks, rubber gloves, batteries, plastic, fabric, soap, feces and dirt. All of these items are inedible objects which are considered wrong to eat by western society. If these items were not considered abnormal to eat then these people would not have been selected for the experiment....   [tags: pica disease, abnormal behavior, culture] 1117 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Acupuncture As An Alternative Medicine In The Western Culture Essay - Debora Cytrynowicz Acupuncture as an Alternative Medicine ( in the Western Culture) Alternative medicine is a very general term whose definition can be very controversial. Basically, it is many holistic techniques for preventing and treating illnesses. Acupuncture, and many other therapies, have long been a part of Asian cultures and have recently been integrated into the Western culture. Since Acupuncture is such an important tradition in China, it has gained much respect from other cultures....   [tags: essays research papers] 1654 words
(4.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Africa's Influence on Western Art - Africa's Influence on Western Art During the mid 19th century up until the Great War of 1914, European countries began to heavily colonize and come into contact with African nations. This was called "new imperialism". During this contact, European culture was influenced by Africa. The influence of the African people can be seen in the European society of the time. In the 19th and 20th centuries, modern artists embraced African art for its lack of pretension or formal qualities. In the latter part of the 19th century, the "scramble for Africa," consolidated at the Berlin Conference, divided the terrain of the African continent among the numerous European contenders....   [tags: Papers] 1851 words
(5.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
What Christians can do in a world of cultures in conflict? Essay - What Christians can do in a world of cultures in conflict. The main topic of this book is “worldview”. What’s “worldview”. It’s not easy to find completed answer. There is a story like that. King of Siam was surprise about story of Dutch ambassador that in winter elephant could walk on river. It’s hard for King of Siam living in the tropics to believe. The King’s worldview could not allow him to accept this. The aim of this book is to help reader will gain a better understanding of his own worldview....   [tags: Religion] 1310 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay Body Language: Cultural or Universal? - Body language and various other nonverbal cues have long been recognized as being of great importance to the facilitation of communication. There has been a long running debate as to whether body language signals and their meanings are culturally determined or whether such cues are innate and thus universal. The nature versus nurture dichotomy inherent in this debate is false; one does not preclude the other’s influence. Rather researchers should seek to address the question how much of nonverbal communication is innate and how much is culturally defined....   [tags: Nonverbal Communication essays research papers]
:: 14 Works Cited
1712 words
(4.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]