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Chinese-American vs. Anglo-American Health Practices

Free Essays about Health

Backgrounds of Both Cultural Groups

Anglo-America is a term that mostly represents regions in America where English is the main language used. It depends on the huge impact that has been created by the British. The culture in these regions is British culture. The reason behind it is the British Empire that was established in these areas. It causes a strong ethnic, linguistic, historical, and cultural impact. Mostly, it refers to Canada and the United States. They are the most recognized regions due to the fact that they are English-speaking. On the other hand, Chinese Americans are the largest Asian American ethnic group in terms of population intensity. According to research, about 3.4 % of the Chinese live in America. New York State alone is said to have 530,981 Chinese Americans. It shows that it is an ethnic group that is likely to have a huge sociological impact on America. The major ancient philosophies and religions for Chinese are ancestor worship, Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. The official language of China is Mandarin. However, most Chinese Americans use the Cantonese language and other dialects (Wallace 24-65).

Significance of Their Ethnic Differences to Sociology

There is a whole list of the significances that can be drawn from ethnic differences in sociology. The fact that these people are in the same nation suggests that they have to interact and live together. However, it is clear that they have different originalities. Therefore, their cultural practices have to differ. For this reason, they have to introduce ways in which they can impact each other positively. Inevitably, there have to be cultural conflicts due to the different beliefs that these two ethnic groups have. Each group may tend to think that the philosophies and practices of the other are not suitable. During the application of laws, one of the social groups may feel left out. The reason is that some laws are not made with the accommodation of future infiltration of other ethnic groups and cultures. On the other hand, one group may think that they have the upper hand. It is where the issue of ethnocentrism comes into the equation. When an ethnic group becomes ethnocentric, the other one tends to be rebellious and develops a sense of defense. It results in a cultural conflict that is vital and necessary for relevant discussions in society (Ma 16-77).

Actual Comparison of Health Practices of Both Cultural Groups

Through the comparison of these ethnic groups, social Darwinism is also easily observed. It is where the stronger ethnic group is identified to possess an increasing power, dominance, and influence on other cultures. On the other hand, the weaker one is identified to be in a constant loss of loyal adherents to the same. Most of the people in this ethnic group adopt the ways and beliefs of others. In the process, social dynamics are observed to alter the social structures of most regions in the world. Ethnomethodology, as well as the subsequent differences of ethnic groups to use this concept to adjust to changes that occur over time, is also perceived within these two ethnic groups. Pluralism is seen where each or both of the groups are able to retain their uniqueness, even with the increasing influence of other cultural and ethnic groups. The interaction of these unique groups, which is of utmost importance, is studied as well. Besides, the merging of cultures, also known as acculturation, is noticed between these two ethnic groups. They are observed to be in constant interaction, and the resulting confluence of their cultures is examined. In general, there are numerous sociological concepts that can be derived from the study of these two cultural groups, with special reference to their health practices. It has formed the basis for discussion (Vaughn, Jacquez, and Baker 64-74).

There are numerous ideas and facts about the health practices of these two ethnic groups that can be studied in this part of the essay. For this reason, it is necessary to tackle each of the facts separately and compare the two ethnic groups, before moving to the next one. The first fact to be discussed is the issue of the effect of language on the healthcare practices of these two groups. Most Anglo-Americans have always had access to modern medical care due to their knowledge of English because most of modern health practices require the same. Apart from getting diseases, the level to which the healing process takes place for Anglo-Americans has always been deemed as high. As for Chinese Americans, most of them speak the Cantonese language. In the past, their lack of knowledge in speaking English used to be a hindrance to the acquisition of medical care. However, it has changed today. This ethnic group has lately exhibited a great knowledge of English. It has influenced their access to healthcare services. The local dialects of Chinese Americans are not mostly used outside the ethnic group. Sometimes, it is not even much used in the individual ethnic group, depending on the degree of acculturation. Research shows that about 40% of Chinese Americans can be said to be linguistically isolated. However, the situation has been improved over time. Therefore, it is correct to say that Anglo-Americans have influenced Chinese Americans positively, with regard to access to healthcare services (Ma 16-77).

Some time ago, reports used to say that Asians were the least to be affected by deaths emanating from diseases and poor health. However, the same cannot be said now. Darwinism is seen between these two ethnic groups in terms of lifestyle, where Anglo-Americans are considered to be a stronger group. Most Chinese Americans have come to adopt Western behavior which has led to an increase in lifestyle diseases. There are numerous cases of the members of this group having prostate, colon, and breast cancer. These are the lifestyle diseases that can only be brought about by living unhealthily. In ancient China, Taoism referred to the way. It put much emphasis on cleanliness, emotional calm, conformity, and selflessness. People followed it and were less likely to get lifestyle diseases. Even with the use of traditional medicines, they did not suffer as much as they do today. However, assimilation with Anglo-Americans has forced them to abandon most of these values. It has led to spreading these lethal diseases. The specific conditions of the Chinese are mainly caused by alcoholism, smoking, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, and depression. These are the diseases that were not so common in ancient China.

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Most Anglo-Americans value individualism and self-reliance. They like to be granted the freedom to speak and act independently. It means that they do not like to be identified as a specific group. They always want to be viewed as self-determined, self-reliant, and independent. This ethnic group, which forms a larger part of America, has kept these values as part of their culture. The major system that works in the American business world is capitalism because these people like to work independently, without help and interaction with others. However, China has been a communist country for a long period of time. Its natives valued the togetherness of the people. Confucianism ensured that the Chinese always acted in harmony. It was considered as their most important social value. Although everyone had their own defined roles, they lived as a common unit. As a matter of fact, the word self has no equivalent in the Chinese language. It shows the significance of their collective nature.

With the father as the head of the family, the family unit was considered as the center that always came before the individual. The deduction from it is that the Chinese were always able to help and support each other. With regard to healthcare, the mental part will be most influential in the development of the aimed point. Mental illnesses among Chinese Americans have recently increased because they were influenced by Anglo-Americans around them to abandon their traditional beliefs. They came to disregard a strong premium that they placed on the family. Therefore, the support that family members always gave each other did not exist anymore. It means that individuals have to deal with their difficult life situations alone. With this mindset, even the rate of suicide has gradually increased. Thus, the ways in which Anglo-Americans influenced Chinese Americans have caused adjustments in every aspect. While Chinese Americans have adopted their unhealthy lifestyle, they have also had to adapt their language to receive good health services. It shows the obligation that comes with social dynamics and the realignment of social structure in an ethnic group.

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There are different Chinese medical treatments that could be said to be helpful and vital for the record they previously had on the health of their people. The first health practice is meditation. When people in Chinese society experienced stress, they used meditation as a healer. It is a method that works even today. The ancient Chinese also tried to avoid cold, as well as certain foods, which they called cold foods. These were the products that they believed to be unhealthy for anyone due to their content and the health impact that they would have on the person using them. Instead of using modern medicine, which may have chemicals that can produce undesired effects in the future, the Chinese used plant and animal parts to treat minor illnesses. They used them to cure deficiencies and promote the stimulation of body activity. These are just a few of their previous practices. On the other hand, Anglo-Americans are characterized by overdependence on technology. Instead of solving problems from the roots, they always try to improve their technology to cater for changes that occur in their environment. As a result, Anglo-Americans rely on hospitals that have equipment that is in line with modern technology. Instead of focusing on health practices within the body, this cultural group gives much credence to youth and beauty. For this reason, they tend to neglect the obligations they have with regard to their health. Over time, Chinese Americans have come to adopt the same lifestyle because of the lack of platforms, in which they can still practice their traditional way of life. Even with increased healthcare, Chinese Americans still lose their people due to diseases. The reason is that they abandon traditional practices that may be helpful in living a healthy life (Wallace 30-48).

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The other difference that can be seen between these two ethnic groups is blind beliefs that may lead to unhealthy living. In China, Buddhism is about holiness and dignity. It means that most people in society would like to be seen as clean and without blemish. However, it is not always the case. For example, when a member of the family had a mental illness, the family used to try its best to conceal the fact because it could have been viewed as a family defect. However, it might not be the fault of anyone in the family. It is just an example of the numerous religious and traditional beliefs that the Chinese had. Through the influence that they gained from Anglo-Americans, it is clear that Chinese Americans have now changed. They have eliminated mental perspectives that were unreal. It means that they have adopted more realistic ways of dealing with problems that come their way. Through the observation of Anglo-Americans, Chinese Americans have been able to learn how to deal with actual health problems without fear of being pointed out. They now differentiate between health problems and curses. Therefore, they receive a better chance of avoiding preventable diseases and curing the treatable ones. On the other hand, Anglo-Americans have learned some health practices from Chinese Americans. For example, meditation centers have been adversely introduced in America. It is where people go to release their stress. As a result, stress accumulation is reduced, causing the subsequent solution and prevention of mental problems. The adoption of a healthy diet can also be derived from Chinese Americans. The use of these traditional methods from China together with a reliance on scientific facts and numbers ensures a healthy lifestyle (Vaughn, Jacquez, and Baker 64-74).

Interaction and Co-Existence of Both Ethnic Groups

The fact that these two ethnic groups adopt qualities from each other is proof that they both have desirable qualities. Although Anglo-Americans are viewed as ethnocentric, they drop some of their behaviors to replace them with those of Chinese Americans. Being a victim of social Darwinism, Chinese Americans are seen to drop most of their values and beliefs with regard to health services as well as practices. Some have been observed to cause negative effects while others have led to positive ones. However, it is vital to notice that both groups have a sense of uniqueness that they preserve. They are always able to maintain aspects that make their cultures unique. It ensures that after the necessary interaction has taken place, there will always be a way to identify each of these cultures from the other.

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Sometimes, conflicts may occur in the social structure of these two communities because they have different origins. Moreover, most of their beliefs and practices are opposing. However, there is always a way in which a consensus can be reached. It means that the two groups come up with hybrid features that can merge their cultures together. If it is not possible, in any situation, they come up with a way in which they live with differences. It does not occur by the plan. Instead, nature has its own way of organizing and uniting different ethnical groups. It is a way in which they can live together, with the elimination of unnecessary conflicts. It also ensures that there is an environment of peace and harmony in the region where the ethnic groups interact. Religion is just an example that can be used as a basis for the identification of differences that arise from the existence of different ethnic groups in the same region (Tripp-Reimer, Eunice, Skemp, and Enslein 1-17).


The essay above is not only an analysis of differences between the health practices of Anglo-Americans and Chinese Americans but a study of the sociological concepts that can be derived from the same groups. The similarities have also been studied, as well as the ways in which they merge and coexist. Furthermore, it has discussed the uniqueness of each of the ethnic groups and the aspects of their culture that they manage to conserve. In this way, the differences that still exist have been identified. The essay is perfect proof that different ethnic groups can live in the same region and interact successfully. Over time, they can always find ways in which to reduce and eliminate social conflicts and coexist. It ensures the existence of society with great harmony and respect between its inhabitants. This coexistence forms the basis from which most theories and terminologies in sociology are derived.

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