THE CONCEPTS OF CULTURE AND IDENTITY IN HEALTH COMMUNICATION
"Gr. T. Popa" University of Medicine and Pharmacy (ROMANIA)
The aim of this paper is to study the role of identity in communication about health and, at the same time, to explore the relationship between culture and identity. Identity refers to the ways in which we see ourselves, and is intrinsically connected to our understanding of health and illness, our relationships with others in healthcare settings, and the actions we engage in the context of health and illness. Identities are culturally situated, as the culture provides the contextual space within which individuals develop a sense of the self and come to value certain aspects of the self. Cultural values and beliefs are played out in the realm of identity as they come to influence the ways in which the individual sees himself / herself, develops relationships with others and engages in day to day practices.
The goal of this paper is to provide an understanding of what identity is and the ways in which it is tied with the health experiences of cultural members. The relationship between identity and health is also going to be discussed. Likewise, attention will be paid to the way in which identity is tied to the meanings of health understood by cultural members and the health-related actions they engage in. Narratives serve as sites of enacting cultural identities. They also offer insights into the meanings of health through the voices of cultural members and therefore connect the question of identity to the broader framework of the culture-centered approach.