Cultural Influences on Illness Behavior: A Medical Anthropological Approach

  • Gilbert Lewis
Part of the Culture, Illness, and Healing book series (CIHE, volume 1)


Ideas about illness and what to do when ill vary with culture. That is obvious. A doctor might find the special interests of the medical anthropologist most helpful to him in work with patients from different cultural backgrounds from his own. Mixture of social class and ethnic origin is common in cities. But there are some aspects of an anthropological approach to illness behavior which have, I think, more general interest than just the appeal of the exotic. These aspects derive partly from the particular character of anthropological research and the way it may provoke us to question or reflect on what we accept as normal or natural behavior. We may see that it is customary rather than natural to behave in that way. We become concerned to discover the social reasons for such customary acts or responses.


Cultural Influence Illness Behavior Sick Person Medical Anthropologist Mission Hospital 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilbert Lewis

There are no affiliations available

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