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Amazonian Ageing and Cultural Stress - Essay Example

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This paper declares that the institutions of society categorize individuals based on age, social practices and relationship boundaries. The institution of ageing can be described as the changing dimensions of role allocation, for example, mother to grandmother or working husband to retiree…
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Amazonian Ageing and Cultural Stress
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Amazonian Ageing and Cultural Stress

Download file to see previous pages... From this discussion it is clear that in the United States, the link between biomedicine, ageism, and culture is centred on the dietary and physical needs of the ageing population. Currently, the United States ageing population is increasing older, with more of the male and female population reaching ages into their late nineties. This places increased importance on health in the older age groups, where gender, age, obesity, fat distribution, and diet are common correlates of high blood pressure. In Amazonia, the general ‘aged’ population exists between the ages of 21-49, and high blood pressure.According to the report the social practices of traditional Amazonian tribes are likely the reason dietary activities are not the focus of medical concerns in the ageing population. Though there has been some indication that the traditional tribes of the Cof´an are consuming more Western foods with increased salt, their social welfare is still highly integrated with their meals. Gardening, hunting and fishing are all important parts of the subsistence lifestyle, and, importantly all members, even the aged, participate in the growing and gathering of foodstuffs. The aged Amazonian still has a significant and functional role in the social village in gardening and gathering, and thus does not face the same role reduction that many United States retirees are subjected too, and the aged villager is not socially isolated from the village....
More importantly, however, the traditional tribal communities are under constant pressure to matriculate into the modernist societies of Ecuador. High blood pressure, as a medical concern, is not derived from the Amazonian diet, but rather from the stress of resisting social and cultural change (Fitton 2005).
The social practices of traditional Amazonian tribes are likely the reason dietary activities are not the focus of medical concerns in the ageing population. Though there has been some indication that the traditional tribes of the Cofan are consuming more Western foods with increased salt, their social welfare is still highly integrated with their meals. Gardening, hunting and fishing are all important parts of the subsistence lifestyle, and, importantly all members, even the aged, participate in the growing and gathering of foodstuffs (Fitton 2005). This contrasts to the United States, where the 'breadwinner' of the family faces role reduction and social isolation once they retire. The aged Amazonian still has a significant and functional role in the social village in gardening and gathering, and thus does not face the same role reduction that many United States retirees are subjected too, and the aged villager is not socially isolated from the village. The aged Cof'an villager maintains their contemporary value orientation as a food gatherer, and there is little resource competition.
Pressures on Ageing Amazonians
The ageing members of Amazonian Cof'an tribes experience stronger familial and cultural pressures. First, as Fitton (2005) notes, age in the indigenous tribes is relative to their familial position, rather than physical age. Many of the Cof'an area persons do not have recorded ages earlier than 50 years, when missionaries came ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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