Western biomedicine and Shamanism Essay.

Western biomedicine and Shamanism Essay.


Even with the best technology the Western people needed to call of Shamanism and resort back to the original science. Turning to Black Elk specifically, it is important to consider the viewpoint Lyon is writing from. He states very clearly at the beginning of the book that he and Black Elk share a very close relationship of eleven years; he himself compares it to that of an uncle and nephew. Remembering this it must also be noted that Lyon is very much devoted to that of the Lakota way of life and he is a strong believer in the acts of healing they perform.Western biomedicine and Shamanism Essay.


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His strong beliefs are shown through a subjective and non-critical style within Black Elk. The differences of these two medicinal practices will remain prominent as long as both groups of people continue to educate and maintain the same beliefs. Societies of both groups have grown up being taught certain things, thus making it very difficult to alter what they know to be right, or normal. Throughout Black Elk the Western reader is provided with numerous miraculous accounts of Shamanism, yet it is up to them to decide whether they will believe in it with out seeing it.Western biomedicine and Shamanism Essay.

Something which may be difficult for many Western minds to do. Part B Short Answer: 2) Oscar Lewis’s concept of the role of poverty was placed upon the people of society who did not have the motivation or ability to escape from their negative situation. These people are also seen as sexually promiscuous and have no aims or aspirations for their future. This stagnant way of life therefore, continues the cycle of poverty within the family unit. The theory, which Lewis presents, does hold some valid points, however there are some exceptions to the case, which should be noted.

It should not be said that all poor people are sexually promiscuous by nature, and also despite their lifestyle conditions there are some people who challenge the restrictions put on the poor and attempt to escape to better things. When in search of employment many people within the impoverished society must resort to sex work. This is a choice they made in order to gain income that they can share with their disadvantaged family. In countries such as Thailand family members are supported and motivated by their kin to participate in the sex trade.

(224) With this information in mind, the notion that poverty stricken people are more sexually promiscuous is wrong, because at times they may have no other choice. Also contrary to what Lewis says about never escaping from a poor lifestyle, there are exceptions to everything. Not all people from a poor background will continue to live in poverty. This can be seen in the story of Esmeralda Santiago a Puerto Rican woman from a poor broken family who battles the odds and becomes educated and graduates from Harvard University with highest honors.

(228) Considering the above information it can be said that though Lewis make a convincing argument, people who are born into a poor family will likely grow up living the way that they are accustomed to. However, there are always exceptions and certain people who break outside the boundaries and pave the way for hope. 3) Marriage is prevalent in all cultures, each having their own specific rules and forms. Due to the differences in marriage throughout culture, the task of defining the term anthropologically is not an easy one.

Some anthropologists have even stopped trying to attempt to find a suitable definition for the event. Due to the fact that cultures differ so greatly from each other it only makes sense that the act of marriage would fit into the believed norms of that society. Today the definition, which would best fit marriages of all cultures, is that of anthropologists Linda Stone who states “Marriage involves an intimate relation between spouses and creates in-law kin relations”. (204) This definition works very well for today’s cultures as it takes into account multiple, or same sex spouses.Western biomedicine and Shamanism Essay.

Due to the fact that so many lifestyles are practiced and accepted around the world it is very important that the way a marriage is carried out reflects those beliefs and practices of the people involved. Personally, I believe that this variation only strengthens the anthropological understanding of marriage. Knowing that there is such a variety of marriages being performed, anthropologists are forced to view them all holistically as not to exclude or ignore a specific one. Being exposed to all the different types of marriage only allows for an anthropologist to better understand the different ways people live and what their beliefs are.Western biomedicine and Shamanism Essay.