Cultural health psychology is a field which investigates health behaviours, and which seeks to link those behaviours to the social context in which they occur; globalisation, on the other hand, is a process which allows cultures to come into increased contact with one another. The process of globalisation has been accelerating at such a rapid pace that many wonder whether it will eventually lead to the eradication and replacement of all local cultures at the expense of a single, global culture. If this so-called cultural homogenization were ever to occur, it may eliminate the necessity of understanding health from a cultural perspective. The present essay will argue, however, that this cultural homogenization will never truly come to be, and that rather than eliminating local cultures, the process of globalisation instead encourages them to evolve and transform in unexpected ways. The unique status of suicide in Japan will also be examined to make these arguments even more evident. It will therefore be concluded that an understanding of health is necessarily incomplete if culture is not also taken into consideration.
Link to the Full Article: Is it still relevant to view health from a cultural standpoint?
Sara Perillo l McGill University, Montreal Canada and Trinity College, Dublin