Today’s movement advancing racial justice and social equality has led many to ponder America’s colonial history as well. Tangible artifacts of settler colonialism present themselves all around us, from the lands upon which our cities were built to the museums that display relics of tribal communities. Yet, other artifacts operate on a more sinister, subconscious level. Columbus Day, a prime example of such ingrained beliefs, reflects how our society’s everyday culture can continue a legacy of oppression.
Although scientific medicine is often associated with objectiveness, systems of belief also affect well-being, with equal, if not greater, impact. For instance, global differences in the occurrence of mental health conditions reveal that societal differences are in part responsible for differences in citizens’ mental health. Furthermore, in a world of globalization, cultural diffusion has affected societal standards in even the most remote regions, thus affecting local communities’ perceptions of health and wellness. In this post, we’ll investigate how cultural standards have impacted societal well-being in a global context.