Practice of Healing

In an essay circa, you are asked to evaluate an illness and the practice of a healing act as a cultural phenomenon using theoretical material from the module content.
The essay should be presented in clear and legible English and be typewritten/word processed. All pages should be named and numbered. An accepted method of referencing should be used.

This assignment will address all learning outcomes.

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

Critically evaluate the notion of “illness” as a social construction.

Evaluate the healing act contextually within its culture.

Analyse how cultural content informs and influences the act of healing in relation to a specific “illness”.
Submission Date: 8th April 2013

Assessment Guidelines:

The choice of illness
This is an important part of the essay but should complement the analysis of the treatment
This may be a physical or psychiatric “illness” in the accepted sense eg diabetes, depression
This may also be a bodily condition or life stage which has been medicalised in western society eg menopause, congenital limb deficiency

The choice of treatment:
Use one specific treatment
Choose a treatment which is generally acknowledged as being a way of healing the above illness.
This may include biomedical healing, alternative/complimentary therapies, psychotherapy
In the instance of a chronic/enduring illness, this may refer to the management of the illness eg the social and medical support of people with alzheimers disease and their carers

Use of theoretical Material:
The module emphasises several ways of conceptualising illness and its treatment as being social influenced and constructed eg discourse, embodiment, social constructionism, medicalisation
These terms should be used in your analysis and writers and theorists of the above should also be included.

Suggested structure
Introduce the essay telling the reader what you are going to argue and how you are going to argue it.
State what illness and treatment you are going to use.
Describe and analyse the illness
Give a brief description of the illness drawing on appropriate texts.
Elaborate on the concept of illness in this context.
Analyse the illness in terms of a cultural/social construction eg
Does the illness imply anything about the way the body is conceptualise ?
What does the illness mean in the culture of the “sufferer”?
What aspects of the illness may be seen to be specifically culturally influenced?
What does the illness mean to the “sufferer”?
Are there any metaphors that underlie the illness?
Describe and analyse the treatment
Give a brief description of the treatment
Analyse the treatment in terms of a cultural phenomena. eg
What are the metaphors that underpin the treatment?
What are the cultural beliefs that underpin the treatment?
How does the treatment fit in with other aspects of the culture?
How might this illness be otherwise healed by cultures with




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