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Discuss the impact of culture on the perception of pain.

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isabella0927 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted January 10, 2011 at 8:31 PM via web

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Discuss the impact of culture on the perception of pain.



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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 10, 2011 at 9:33 PM (Answer #1)

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Pain in its psychological and physical forms is characterized by an onset of a specific situation that disrupts the natural order of things. In the case of psychological pain such as grief and loss, it disturbs the comfort zones and psychological boundaries of those who experience it. In the case of physical pain, it disrupts the systematic processes of the body and inflicts negative sensations.

The study of pain within cultures is interesting because each culture determines the parameters within which individuals belonging to that specific group will allow for pain to be consistent or not. You may notice that some cultures do not express their grief verbally while others do. Some groups go through rites of passage that involve the infliction of physical pain to demonstrate strength while, to us, that may be macabre and even illegal.

Hence, the central foci of investigation when it comes to pain is a) what is the rule that the group as a whole maintains as a standard for demonstrating their inner or outer weakness when it comes to expressing pain, and b) how does the group respond to pain in a way that it preserves those parameters.

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