Culture-Bound Syndromes

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The assignment for this weeks’ module requires you to write a short paper about 5 pages in length centering on a culture-bound syndrome using APA writing style. This activity is designed to introduce you to scientific writing and to encourage you to explore two different perspectives on culture and mental illness. The paper should be informative and research-based, show evidence of scholarly thought or research, and it should make its point(s) clearly and concisely. It will be graded on a point scale (see rubric), taking account of the credibility of content, the originality or strength of the ideas/argument, and the general quality of the writing and construction of the paper. Culture-Bound Syndromes One fascinating area of research on culture in mental health focuses on culture-specific disorders (also known as culture-bound syndromes). These terms refer two forms of mental illness that are unique to a certain culture or locale. Research in cultural psychology has taken two major approaches to understanding specific disorders. One approach the Absolutist view, holds that there are similarities in mental disorders across cultures convert the expression of these disorders differs from culture to culture. Absolutist researchers might focus on evidence that depression and schizophrenia can be identified in cultures throughout the world. A second perspective, the cultural relativistic approach, suggest that some disorders are unique to a specific culture and may only be understood within the context of that culture. Relativistic researches focus on the distinctive cultural features of some mental disorders. These two approaches were discussed in some length in chapter 2 of the Shiraev and Levy textbook. Directions: Choose a culture specific disorder to investigate using library, internet resources or choose one from the list provided in this module. Before you start read to the questions that follow and be prepared to adjust these with the information you gather. 1. Identify and describe the disorder you selected: Where does it take place? Who is affected by it? What is perceived to be the cause? What are symptoms? Does a culturally specific treatment exist? If so please explain. 2. How are these people viewed within the community and how does their treatment compare to people from westernized cultures suffering mental illness? Are they stigmatized, shunned, or accepted? 3. Please present an argument that compares and contrasts the Absolutist and Relativistic viewpoints (see chapter 2). In your argument, provide evidence (theory and/or research) that both supports and perhaps disputes each viewpoint. Format: Your paper should be at least 5 pages long and written in APA format. Include APA referencing format (but you do not need to include an abstract). In addition to your textbook, please cite at least 3 resources used researching this paper (i.e., reputable online resources, library databases, journals, or scholarly texts). The total project is worth 75 points with 50 points earned based on the grading rubric and the other 25 points added once students obtain written feedback from the EMCC Writing Center before submitting their final draft to CANVAS. NOTE: In order to be eligible for the 25 EMCC Writing Center points, you must also attach your Writing Center REVISION PLAN. Thus, you’ll need to post both the final draft of your paper AND the official REVISION PLAN from the Writing Center.

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