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Title: Conceptualising health from an Abui perspective
Authors: Chan, Wan Ting
Keywords: Humanities::Linguistics::Anthropological linguistics
Humanities::Linguistics::Discourse analysis
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Chan, W. T. (2019). Conceptualising health from an Abui perspective. Master's thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Language affects our perception and judgement for making decisions. In this thesis I am interested in how cognitive categories that are shaped by language and personal experience affect health-seeking behaviour. The study focuses on the Abui community in Alor, an island in East Nusa Tenggara, but the discovered patterns are analogous with those reported by similar studies from around the world. By exploring narratives of health conditions provided by healers from biomedical, traditional and even spiritual healing systems, I will show that health conditions manifested with similar symptoms may actually be perceived as categorically different conditions by the Abui. One of the overarching principles guiding such perception is alowai, an Abui term that encompasses various kinds of misfortune and difficulties in life that include disease, poverty, as well as supernatural or natural calamities. Thus, alowai is not a term that can be easily translated with the Indonesian word for disease, penyakit. The implication of this would be that healthcare providers who tend to Abui patients are expected to treat more than just the patient’s physical symptoms and also pay attention to the spiritual or emotional needs of the patient. Likewise, influence of the Abui language on fever concepts show that the Abui community understand fever differently from the biomedical definition of the condition. Healthcare providers treating Abui patients should be sensitive to these perceptual differences on both fever and disease concepts in order to achieve optimum treatment outcomes.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/137035
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Theses

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