Monday, March 2, 2009

Communication always was and will be the key to any problem...

The story that I enjoyed reading the most and that probably stimulated my thinking the most was Hawkins' story about Dr. Lewis and Mr. Pearsall. I pondered for a while over the statement or rather justification that Dr. Lewis used to make himself feel better after he first told Mr. Pearsall about his treatment option: "He didn't lie to Mr. Pearsall about those side effects, because Mr. Pearsall didn't ask." It make me think about how may people I know that go by the motto "don't ask, don't tell" and the fact that they can live and deal with their consciousness of NOT telling. There has to be a cognitive process that fights your inner feeling of what is right (can we call that morals or maybe instinct) and justifies your actions. Are those morals/instincts learned or do they reside in all of us naturally? Do your emotions influence your decision-making and your justifications when you have to make choices in life? According to Hawkins in case of Dr. Lewis that was the case. Is this the same for everybody...I don't think so, because then problems of social inequality wouldn't exist, if everybody would feel just a little bit for the person next door. Can altruism be the solution to approach problems of inequality?

I learned a lot from Adelson's description of the Canadian Aborigines. The annual gatherings are a way to enact their agency, are a way to share with their own and with people from the outside what their "culture" is all about. These gatherings also allowed to raise their voices and engage in dialogue, not only to save what might be lost when the elder member of the community pass, but also to simply exchange in dialogue and by doing so enact their agency. The chapter on losing a piece of culture made me wonder, if, when culture is considered flexible and changing with time, can it even be possible to "lose culture" or does it simply change and evolve? Does change = loss or does change automatically assume losing parts and gaining others?

In past readings we discussed the importance of narratives of people with chronic pain for example and how important these narratives are for "the others" to even try to comprehend and feel their pain. Chambers and Montgomery illustrate in their piece, that there is indeed different plots (perspectives) to the same story, depending whose eyes we see through. Sad but true, in today's medical approaches, stories such as Mr. Kaufmann's, will remain very "paper-based", following a certain protocol to come to a diagnosis. Unfortunately this, through the eyes of a doctor/politics approach loses its realness and closeness to what is actually going on with people sometimes, it makes us lose the core, we get side tracked. The fact the the medical business is an all money making business these days, that won't allow for those deeper approaches and that won't allow for the narratives of the patients. Is the lack of time and dedication one reason why chronic diseases and unsolvable cases even exist?


Nadine said...

Hi Steph,
I would like to comment on culture flexibility. I do believe that culture is like a species; it goes through evolution. A culture picks up new traits, abandon others, and maintain a set of characteristics necessary for it to function. Do we need to lament the loss of some cultural cues or traits? Probably we should, but I guess that the cultural species has its own agency in transforming and changing to what it fits its structures. Nevertheless, we need to protect cultures from extinction by resisting abolishing powers.

Lala said...

But then u are saying that like a species, culture can be classified..a specie can change to a totally different one which no longer can be traced to the original specie. can culture transform so to a different evolutionary shape?