Culture and rural health

Jane Farmer, Lisa Bourke, Judith Taylor, Julia Marley, John Reid, Stacey Bracksley, Nicole Johnson

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper considers the role of culture in rural health, suggesting that the concept and its impacts are insufficiently understood and studied. It reviews some of the ways that culture has been considered in (rural) health, and states that culture is either used ambiguously and broadly - for example, suggesting that there is a rural culture, or narrowly - indeed perhaps interchangeably with ethnicity, for example Aboriginal culture as a unity. The paper notes that, although culture is a dynamic social concept, it has been adopted into a biomedical research paradigm as though it is fixed. Culture is often treated as though it is something that can be addressed simplistically, for example, through cultural sensitivity education. Authors suggest that culture is an unaddressed 'elephant in the room' in rural health, and that exploring cultural differences and beliefs and facing up to cultural differences are vital in understanding and addressing rural health and health system challenges.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)243-247
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
    Volume20
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

    Keywords

    • Health policy
    • Health status
    • Health system
    • Public health
    • Rural sociology

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